Tokyo Designers Week interviews:
Max Lamb

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Tokyo 09: this next short interview commissioned for the Tokyo Designers Week guide features designer Max lamb talking about exhibiting in Tokyo and the importance of handmade work.

Max Lamb - I don't follow fashion

“My furniture is very personal; people only buy it if they respond emotionally, so they're unlikely to throw it away. Lifespan and the relationship between an item and its user are more important than so-called ecological materials. It’s the culture of disposal that I think we need to address. The materials and processes I use are very durable – you can be very rough with them. And I don't follow fashion.

Another way I approach this is to turn the consumer into the creator. I've just designed a wooden flat-pack chair for E&Y based on a similar concept to the one I showed at last year’s 100% Design Tokyo. When someone assembles something they invest value in it. The handmade element is key, whoever’s hand it may be.

I’ve exhibited in Tokyo twice now and both experiences have been intense. I was so busy the last time that I couldn’t sleep. I saw the city by night and day. It’s so alive and the sounds, smells and noises are unique.

As a foreigner you never know what to expect, and I love putting myself in the same position with my work by exploring unfamiliar materials. I try to find out everything I can about something – whether it’s Japanese food or the Chinese granite I used for a recent collection. I love the thrill of the unknown.”

Max Lamb is a furniture designer who runs his own practice in London.

Photography by Phil Fisk
Art direction by Micha Weidmann
Interview by Malaika Byng

This interview is taken from the official Tokyo Designers Week guide, produced by Dezeen and art directed by Micha Weidmann.

More interviews in this series:

Tom Dixon
Arik Levy
Ilse Crawford
Matthew Hilton
Shigeru Ban

See all our stories about Tokyo Designers Week in our special category.