A Bench of Place

New kid on the block in the WA design scene, *Ko has hit the ground running with their range of minimalist, Scandi-Japanese inspired furniture.

“*Ko began as an idea my wife and I had while we were living in Oslo, Norway. I was working as an architect and my office was opposite a prominent Danish furniture brand, Carl Hansen & Søn, so I would see these beautiful, handcrafted Danish pieces on display each day as I went to work. Every piece expressed its provenance, through its Danish timber and exceptional local craftsmanship. They’re steeped in generations of tradition and history, with a deep appreciation and understanding of local timbers and construction methods. I admired this and wanted to translate this heritage to a purely Australian context, to utilize our own amazing natural resources and see where we could go with it,” founder Stefan Oh says.

*Ko aims to make simple, well-made furniture that will last a lifetime through its understated designs that can fit into a variety of spaces. Their use of Australian timbers aims to let their innate beauty speak for itself.

The first collection begins with a focus on dining table benches to celebrate the inclusive manner and social setting they provide, different to the standard chair. A dining chair is in the works to be released soon.

The inspiration comes from both Scandanavian and Japanese furniture design schools.

“It’s interesting because there are strong parallels between the two, within both architecture and design. Both embrace a simplicity that may at first appear effortless but reveals itself to be extremely refined and well considered,” Stefan says.

“The Scandinavian influence comes from my Norwegian wife and our years living in Oslo. The Japanese influence comes from a love of Japanese woodworking, with the precise, hand carved joinery. But in saying that, I’m also half Chinese and spent many years of my childhood in Hong Kong, which although not directly Japanese, exposed me to a lot of Chinese and Asian design; there’s definitely a lot of overlap between styles.”

*Ko aims to work exclusively with Australian timbers and materials like Victorian Ash and Sheoak.

“For our Scandinavian inspired dining chair we’re looking into using kangaroo leather for the cord weave of the seat, making it a truly Australian response to an international style. Danish paper cord is commonly used in such seat weaving overseas, so other local, recycled paper alternatives are also currently being explored,” Stefan says.

Look out for more details on that release on WADES soon.