Akiko Kuwahata and Ken Winther are a team. and are both skilled cabinetmakers, working together or on their own craft projects.
Akiko is of Japanese origin and has gained degrees in Living Space Design at Nihon University, then worked for years as a cabinetmaker in Japan, and later adding studies at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. Over the years, she has continuously worked to refine techniques and design of wooden objects, to explore and use the potential and abilities of natural wood. Most often, they are objects with a utilitarian value beside their obvious clean and utterly fluid design. In a product from Akiko one find little clever details, most often understated – the practical use of magnetic paint, the use of thinly cut wooden strips used for sewing. Quality is key; her products have an unequalled level of finish and are irresistible to touch.
Ken’s interest in woodwork has come naturally as his parents were in furniture manufacturing business. He has furthered his craftsmanship at PP Møbler – a high quality workshop where many of Hans J Wegner furniture is made. Taking a perfectionist approach, he has studied further on lengthy training periods at Japanese carpenter masters. Ken likes to challenge himself as well as the wood to make very delicate products. Examples of such are lathe turned lampshades so thinly they become semi-transparent, another are baskets of pressed veneer sewn with cane cord.
They live in their villa some ways to the north of Copenhagen – with a cabinetmakers workshop built in, of course.
written by Anne Heiberg