The Akron Collection, inspired by those timeless task stools, fuses hand-cast iron, brass detailing, and hand-stitched leather. It includes pieces such as the Akron Stool and the Akron Desk Chair whose arms sweep up into the curve of wood that forms the backrest with such understated authority that you can almost imagine a factory director barking orders from it.

And so, with the made-in-Vietnam philosophy combined with the growing global repute of the brand in markets as diverse as the US and Scandinavia, Vietcetera wanted District Eight to explain more about how the timeless task stool became the inspiration for their Akron stool and how it fits in with their collections of modern-industrial furniture that foreground function while retaining their aesthetic appeal.

What are the core values inherent in the design?

The Akron stools are a version of the old task stools that factory workers used for many years. Back in the day, when design work was done with a pen and paper, you would have seen rooms full of draftsmen perched upon similar steel stools. This connects deeply to the images we have of the Industrial Revolution when America was one of the most prominent steel manufacturers in the world.

What are the core values inherent in the design?

It’s safe to say that most of the steel products coming out of Akron, Ohio, back then were constructed primarily for functional purposes, rather than for show. In our reinvention of this kind of furniture, we went for an industrial-chic look that allows the pieces to fit into any kind of modern contemporary home or office space. We also wanted this collection to maintain that spirit of functionality, but to also be visually appealing.

What other elements give District Eight its individuality and identity?

Besides taking inspiration from outside of Vietnam, our ambition is to make furnishings that uniquely reflect the industrial environment of our home base here in Ho Chi Minh City. We also take pride in the fact that we employ real people with authentic skills—yes, we’re working out of a factory, but that doesn’t mean we are fully mechanized. We aim to find the middle ground between the two while still producing furnishings of the highest quality possible. So, I guess you could say this is where our true identity lies.

Who do you see as a typical Akron customer? Where would they live?

Anyone could be an Akron customer. Our customer base is global; it’s not really limited to one area—they could be in North America, Sweden, Australia, or even right here in Vietnam.

Written by Vietcetera