Hapa Inaba Designs is founded on the belief that good design should have a positive impact in the world. It is dedicated to a sustainable supply chain, where every material is vetted to be an environmentally responsible option. The designs are made with local hardwoods, salvaged from Northern California. The finishes are non-toxic which result in minimal off gassing. Using hand tools greatly reduces the energy output and waste that's commonplace with standard shop equipment. These practices are not only healthier for the environment, they are healthier for the craftsman as well.
At Hapa Inaba, the term sustainable encompasses more than a low environmental impact. Hapa Inaba approaches sustainability in a holistic way. One of its' primary missions is to preserve and sustain traditional Japanese woodworking practices. This tradition is inherently environmentally conscious by honoring the trees that are used. There is a saying, "whatever you build must last as long as the tree took to grow." Every piece of furniture designed at Hapa Inaba is built to last lifetimes.
Japanese carpentry has created the longest lasting wooden structures still standing today. It's success is rooted in a deep understanding of the nature of the material, and utilizes it's strengths and subtleties in the form of complex interlocking joints. These joints require no glue, screws, or fasteners. They are cut by hand using finely honed hand tools, crafted by a lineage of blacksmiths that date back to samurai era sword makers. Supporting this traditional style of work also supports these tool makers and the preservation of their craft.
Hapa Inaba honors the past and looks to the future by blending Japanese joinery with an elegant modern aesthetic. Each piece features hand cut joinery, crafted in the Japanese tradition. They are finished using Japanese hand planes which create glassyburnished surfaces and then hand rubbed with natural oils and waxes. The ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem that supports these living crafts and honors the environment by using local wood, minimal waste and environmentally friendly products.
The company’s founder Colin Inaba Christy designs and builds all of the work out of his Oakland, CA studio. Colin is originally a sculptor and painter from Salt Lake City, UT. He hand cuts and finishes each piece using these traditional Japanese joinery techniques. "Hapa" refers to people of mixed Asian heritage. Colin is half Japanese American. The study of this craft connects him to his roots. Colin blends these Japanese traditions with his own unique vision to echo the way that his Japanese heritage is blended.