Check out this amazing film by Henrik Hansen about custom motorcycle engineer Shinya Kimura work works at Chabott Engineering in California. My father is a mechanical fitter by trade and much of this film reminded me very much of him.
The close-up shots of Kimura-san’s workshop tools reminded me of my Dad’s garage at home with his tools. Like my father Kimura-san has an instinctive relationship with his tools and materials that product design and engineering just can’t teach.
Shinya Kimura’s machines make you realise how soulless modern vehicle engineering has become, the complex mechanical nature of the machines giving his machines an almost organic nature and a steam punk aesthetic.
There film also brought out to me the direct lineage in the work of Kimura-san and the approach and attitudes prevalent in Japanese design through the great artisan and apprenticeship traditions. If you would like to know more about this I can recommend Elements of Japanese Design by Boye Lafayette De Mente.
In terms of the film itself, what makes this even more amazing is that Hansen didn’t shoot this video on 35mm film but on a couple of Canon digital SLR cameras.