You've probably seen the striking Sutro Tower Coatrack displayed in our store recently—today we bring you an interview with the brilliant designer behind them, Justin Godar. Building wood furniture and cabinets out of San Francisco, Godar creates innovative seating from old world materials and time-tested construction.
Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I'm from Walnut Creek, the son of an interior decorator and an industrial bookbinder. I suppose that had something to do with the fact that I work with machines all day to make mostly walnut furniture.
What initially inspired you to make your product?
Sutro Tower, of course. It's the one landmark here that most locals see on a regular basis, so many of us hold a special affection for it. It's our Eiffel Tower.
Being a furniture designer, I've always thought it looked like a nice coat rack. When I realized nobody was making a Sutro Coat Rack, I felt it was my duty to create it.
What is your favorite step in the creation of your product?
When I've completed the first working prototype. There's a lot of work that happens before that, so that moment makes clear whether or not the effort was worthwhile.
What hobbies inspire your designs/products?
Whenever I go camping, I make elaborate plans for the ultimate camp box. But really, furniture design is my main hobby. If I won the lottery, I'd still be doing what I do.
What is your favorite color?
Red, though I like most primary colors at times. In my work, I like the colors to be true to the material. Therefore, I avoid stains and handpick the wood to get the color I want.
What is your favorite shape and why?
The shape of a tree slab. It's something I've been thinking about for a product in development.
What is your favorite texture this season?
Smooth is always in season for me.
What did you see of interest today?
I saw my cats didn't eat their food. It's early and not much has happened yet.
What is your motto?
I don't have a real motto, but I have a basic goal: Create unique and durable products with no moving parts that get a narrow group of people really excited.