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Furniture Apr 17, 2024

Exclusive Interview with Adam Court from OKHA

We sat down with Adam Court for an exclusive interview before he departed to Milan, Italy, where OKHA will be debuting its Sculpted Forms collection at Milan Design Week.

Why is now the right time for OKHA to debut at Milan Design Week?
Attending the Milan Design Week (MDW) holds immense significance for us. It’s the pinnacle of global design events, situated in the epicentre of design, Milan, Italy.  This super exciting and inspiring event attracts the finest in design from across the globe, including media, buyers, designers and architects, all in celebration of contemporary design.

After a dedicated evolutionary journey, OKHA is now ready to participate. We have evolved into an international brand and are in a position to deliver world-class products. We are honoured to have been selected to be part of MDW, as it is crucial for establishing OKHA’s credibility on the global design stage.

 

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What pieces will you be showcasing?
We will be showing a capsule collection called Sculpted Forms. This comprises two designs that express a sculptural approach to form and silhouette. The Reposer armchair is the final iteration of the Repose sofa seating collection. The armchair is a sculpted composition of curvaceous forms, subtle angles and asymmetry that reference the meanderings of natural forms, emphasizing plays of scale and form; it is a seating landscape very much inspired by South African geography notably the rock formations along the Cape Coast.

With the Reposer armchair we are showing Cut Forms side tables, these small tables are pure sculptural forms in metal. They are monolithic blocks of steel that have been cut and shaped to reveal new identities. The Reposer armchair and the Cut Forms side tables are expressions of past, present and future, they are modern, retro and futuristic.
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How would you define Okha’s current design process?
Coming from an art background and not a design formation, I have always approached furniture design with a sculptural eye and also placed a focus on the expressivity of materials; how materials contain multiple forms of expression through the exploration of processes and treatments of those materials. Regarding form, I consider the furniture piece as a 360-degree experience, meaning that one should be able to view, interact and appreciate the design from all angles – very much like a sculpture. Applying these approaches I believe has given OKHA its expressive edge and personal narrative.

Photography Credit: Piergiorgio Sorgetti

There is a poetic beauty to how you treat and work with natural materials. What is your process to ensure the materials you choose will work with the pieces?

It’s experimentation and curiosity. As I’ve mentioned, materials have so many layers of identity, with stone for example, if it is polished, honed, hammered, sandblasted or acid etched, it expresses itself differently and reveals another side to its character. The same with metals and wood. It is usually the natural materials that are the most interesting, expressive and have the most depth.

Photography Credit: Piergiorgio Sorgetti

Does nature play an integral part in both your work and your lifestyle and how so?
Absolutely,  nature plays an important part in my life and work in my lifestyle and my work. Walks, hikes, morning cold swims, trail running now and again and my gym workouts are always outdoors. There is nothing better than feeling the warmth of the rising sun on your face in the mornings whilst working out followed by a cold water swim, feeling the movement of the ocean, and experiencing the light on the water.

In terms of design, the scale of nature, its forms, its duality of chaos, asymmetry aligned with balance, order and harmony and how these apparent opposites exist in perfect unison – I love all of this about nature and also how we don’t question it but accept it as just the way it is and is meant to be. So I try and bring some of that into the designs, some disorder, some intentional unbalance, asymmetry and provocation, I like to trigger the senses that way and simultaneously create an overall sense of well-being.

Cut Forms Valcucine Photography Credit: Piergiorgio Sorgetti

How important is the aspect of sustainability to you in your work?
I believe that one of the great strengths of OKHA is that we create lifelong works. That to me is the first fundamental aspect of sustainable design, OKHA designs are not fast design, trend-driven design or throwaway design. I want us to put greater and greater focus into creating lifelong works. This combined with working with natural materials from a sustainable source is key to OKHA.

What’s striking and different about the pieces you will be exhibiting and do you see them as signature pieces?
Yes, they are signature works that mark a direction going forward, they are works that hold space, are clearly defined and express a particular force and energy. I do believe that when art or design rings true and communicates, it is because it holds and expresses an authentic energy, a vibration, a force, something that exists beyond the object.

What projects are you working on now that excite you?
We are working on some very interesting interior design projects in SA and I always have a hoard of designs that are waiting to be given oxygen (& time) to bring them to life.

Sculpted Forms will be on show at two venues in Milan during Design Week. At Valcucine, Corso Garibaldi 99, in a design by ARRCC for the Architectural Scenarios exhibition, OKHA has created a hybrid seating area of relaxed sophistication featuring a sculptural Repose chaise, newly launched Reposer armchair, side tables and counter chairs to create a culture of connection and individuated design within a luxurious kitchen space. At Spotti Milano, Viale Piave 27, OKHA has been selected to launch Cut Forms side tables at this prestigious showroom, OKHA’S official Italian distributor.

Milan Design Week will run in the city from 16 – 21 April.

Contact: OKHA

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