Mukk (@mukk.co) began as a pet project, shortly after Sim Chia Yi and Vivian Shi Wei crossed paths at a talk, which slowly escalated as a booming venture. The designer slash maker duo shared an unequivocal passion for sustainable and responsible architecture that led to the birth of timber-based Mukk back in 2015.
Fast-forward to today, the two have successfully rooted, pun intended, their business at their own studio and are now devising their next move into, wait for it, fashion.
How do you plan to combine wood and fashion?
Chia Yi (CY): We’re still in the prototyping stage but rest assured that it is possible. At the moment we’re working on pieces like hair accessory and wallet with leather combination to make a premium high-end product.
Back to your home accessory collection, what kind of wood do you work with?
Vivian (V): We use both local and foreign quality woods, from Balau and Nyatoh to Pine and Oak. And since we’re all about responsible design, we also employ collections of offcuts to avoid wastage.
What is the concept that you’re going for?
CY: We always want to solve problems with our products. Take our frame for example, which is also our signature, we had been looking for floating frames for so long but couldn’t find it, so we designed one instead. The inspiration behind it was when Vivian saw her sister strapping her things together with rubber bands.
V: From there we proceed with the making of prototypes, finding the right dimension and proportions. After that came the manual labour of cutting, table sawing and sanding, and along the way, we started engaging craftsmen to make and produce.
You design and make your own products but you also cooperate with other carpenters?
V: It’s because of the demand as we are a two-women-show. But aside from that, we really want to make Mukk a collaborative platform because to us, that’s how a business expands; by developing relationships with your partners and that includes various sources, carpenters, and manufacturers.
Who do you look up to in the designing field?
CY: Naoto Fukasawa. He is the kind of designer that considers human behaviour and the cultural aspects of things before creating a product, and that’s fascinating to us. We respect him not only for his sense of style but also his thought process. He solves problems.