OOKKUU (pronounced as Oh-koo) provides purely Made-in-Japan premium contract grade furniture, tableware and lighting for the North American market. We also develop products with top-notch Japanese makers for international designers and project owners.
Picture above: Japanese Craftsmen hand-finishing chair frames
The name OOKKUU is derived from the Japanese word “oku" (奥), which means inner layer or depth. In architecture, “oku” refers to the core spirit of a design and a deeper dimension of beauty. It also refers to the quality, truth and purpose of a design. We share these same values in our approach to the "art-of-making", referred to as “monozukuri" (ものづくり) in the Japanese philosophy of craftsmanship. We closely examine the core dimensions when we evaluate the pieces we offer—from the intention of an object's design, the process of making it, a sense of the object’s presence, to its endurance over time—and aim to create collections that reflect our overall dedication to quality.
ABOUT OUR FURNITURE
OOKKUU offers both premium furniture collections and product development services.
The collections we offer are all made by specialist manufacturers in Japan. They demonstrate the attributes that OOKKUU values, and possess an expertise in traditional manufacturing techniques.
We adopt the same attitude and values when assisting designers and clients with our product development services. We provide design execution and coordination expertise, and work with specialty makers in Japan to realize even the most intricate and demanding design visions. Through the careful choice of materials, meticulous refinement of design, and effective use of production processes and techniques, we drive the creation of final products that satisfy not only the basic levels of function and form, but will also stand the test of time.
WHY I FOUNDED OOKKUU
A large part of my career in architecture involved navigating complex cross-cultural exchanges and business transactions. When I worked abroad in places like Hong Kong and Japan, I witnessed how “East” and “West” blended together in an ambitiously symbiotic relationship in both lifestyle and business. In today’s rapidly globalizing world, the overwhelming lean towards mass production and disposability has brought us easy-to-obtain goods, but not a higher quality of life. There seems to be no end to luxury products whose only good quality is an exorbitant price point.
Instead of simply chasing quantity, I believe people are beginning to place more value on the quality behind their products. They want products that facilitate an experience, represent a rich heritage, and inspire imagination. Furniture is one of the most meaningful kinds of products where this kind of quality is of utmost importance. These are products that we live with on a day-to-day basis, that help give life a personal touch.
Japan has centuries of tradition and cultural heritage that coexist with modern technological innovation. Its manufacturers reflect the best of globalization’s effects on design: A mixing of old and new, quality that comes from the union of careful study of the past and consideration for the future. It is an alternative to a polarized design world.
I hope OOKKUU can serve as a vehicle for creating not only great products, but meaningful relationships between designers and users, based on a drive for quality and a balance between production and craftsmanship.
Hubert Ho, Ph.D.