The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Who’s Designing Honolulu?

HONOLULU Magazine emerged from predecessor Paradise of the Pacific, which began in 1888, fulfilling a commission by King Kalākaua. That makes it the oldest continuously published magazine west of the Mississippi, with an enviable archive worth diving into each month. Here’s a look back at April 2007.


From Our Files 2007


“Hawai‘i by Design” takes us into the world of local artisans, architects and entrepreneurs who influence the designs that surrounds us, from tattoos and splashy buildings to surfboards and handcrafted jewelry.


Writer Michael Keany starts with the dramatic bright orange swoop of the Honolulu Design Center, then new and edgy with its acres of glass curtain walls. The center has endured, still hosting a restaurant, pour-your-own-wine bar and event space as well as the mainstay furniture store.


Native Hawaiian legacy designer Ben Aipa is also featured. The influential surfboard shaper was known for his notched swallow tail, a stinger rail shape that made turning easier and decades of making surfing more fun for both the pros and weekend warriors. Aipa died in January 2021 but his sons, Akila and Duke, both continue the family tradition of building sought-after surfboards.


SEE ALSO: Olympic Surfing Gold Fulfills Duke’s Dream—and Moore


From Our Files Covers April 2022 1024x512


Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at


Find more photos from Honolulu’s past every Thursday on Instagram @honolulumag.