SOKOA emerged out of a development project in 1971. This project was designed to create jobs in the Basque region by encouraging groups of people to pool together small investments. As a leading European maker specialising in office chairs, SOKOA has expressed its philosophy through a number of fundamental values since it was first founded. These are to:
Contribute to the Basque region’s economic development and create local jobs;
Distribute profits fairly and to make employees meaningful shareholders in the company;
Use transparent management practices.
In keeping with these values, SOKOA has implemented policies designed to improve the quality of its work and solidify its commitments to the environment, so that it can meet its customers’ and partners’ expectations to the fullest. These policies are also a mark of SOKOA’s determination to aid its employees’ professional development.
With each worker now a shareholder in the company, SOKOA puts its values into practice every day of the week. Since it first launched, SOKOA has created more than 4000 jobs, directly and indirectly, 3600 of them in the Basque country.
Bruno Houssin’s work is characterised by a desire to create objects that last. His work as a lighting designer – a field indissociable from energy consumption – was what gave him the push to focus on our new environmental paradigm. “I love designing long-lasting objects, or at least objects with a well thought-out end to their lifecycle, and I do this by using just one material whenever I can.” His creations are recognisable for their gentle, minimalist shape, the key aim of which is to provoke an emotional reaction. A good example of this is KAO, a spectacular ceiling light inspired by the artistry of nature.
He has high expectations when it comes to quality dialogue between creators and manufacturers and believes that it’s the designer’s duty to adapt to most methodologies. He is always curious to learn about new manufacturing techniques and is as happy collaborating with major retailers and distributors (such as Artemide, Hardy, Soca and Ligne Roset) as he is with artisans working on more experimental projects (like Eco Design Bois Bourgogne, for example).