Launched in Brooklyn in September 2012, Souda is a collaborative design and manufacturing studio focusing on furniture, lighting, and home décor. It combines in-house production with components produced by local machinists, metal shops, and woodworkers. Souda’s founders—Isaac Friedman-Heiman (born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1987), Shaun Kasperbauer (born in Carroll, Iowa in 1990), and Luft Tanaka (born in Nagoya, Japan in 1990)—met while pursuing their Bachelor’s degrees in product design from Parsons in New York. The three graduated in 2012.
The Japanese word Souda (pronounced “soh-duh”) translates roughly to “Oh, yeah!” Notable projects to date include the custom interior design for the New York restaurant Maiden Lane (2013); custom concrete furniture for the Isabel Marant London showroom (2013); and the ongoing texturized Kawa collection, which features handmade porcelain vessels and lighting slipcase in reusable leather molds (2013).
Souda’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Noguchi Museum in New York, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design and ICFF, both in New York, and MOST Salone in Milan. In 2013, Souda was included in Sight Unseen’s list of top up-and-coming American designers and as part of the A+ Young Designers Platform at the New York International Gift Fair. In the spring of 2014, Souda was awarded Editor’s Award for Best New Designer at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York.