- by Kika Espejo
JAPANESE DESIGN MADE TO LAST
Among wooden chairs and oval cabinets, we find Shuya Iida, who left Okayama, Japan, to become one of the most distinguished industrial and furniture designers on this side of the Hudson River.
Since 2010 he has owned and operated his own studio called Shuya Design, a space in Queens that also has a Japanese noodle bar. "I have a showroom there with a restaurant so that people can eat and drink and decide what color or material they want for their furniture. I think this is much better for them instead of just seeing samples of material" says Shuya about the unique and innovative design of his studio.
Iida makes tailor-made furniture inspired by traditional Japanese design, as well as fashion and painting. His personal motto reads “I make furniture that people can pass on to their children. I use different types of material and I mix them, like wood and marble, I love strange mixtures. To do this, I talk to the client and I get some ideas of what they want, so I prepare the sketches and decide the materials to use. "
Shuya discovered his artistic vocation at a young age. He studied at a famous art education high school and then continued his design studies in Tokyo at Gakuin College. Shortly after graduating, he won the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Award, an award judged that year by distinguished Japanese architect Sakai Naoki.
Shuya's impressive work has been published in magazines such as Modern Living and Architectural Digest. He has produced interior design and furniture for high-end establishments in New York and Boston, including Michelin-starred restaurants and sushi bars such as Kajitsu, Hirohisa, Sushi of Gary 46, Secchu Jakota and Gensousen Tea House. His work has also been presented at design fairs in Japan, Stockholm, Italy, and the United States.
While being honored by his international experiences and acclaim, it was in New York, where Shuya was able to realize one of his greatest dreams, the recognition of his artistic work. "I always wanted to do an exhibition in a museum and it happened this summer at the Brooklyn Museum. That was an unforgettable moment. "
For Shuya, success in the world of design is possible only through the study and admiration of art itself. "I learned many things from other artists, so I think it's important to see many works. Please, look at many works of art and form your own unique idea. When you put effort, you can make your dreams come true."