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Feature: A Look at Some of Korea`s Top Designers for the Great Indoors

KAMKAM Design, Seoul

As their website states: We are in the dark, made of millions of colors, KAMKAM is the realized dream of Seoul designers Hyun-jin Seo and Jae-kyoung Kim who have seen their creations featured everywhere from Milan to London. Much of what they do is fabric-based (yes, even in tweed), stuff for kids’ rooms and highly-stylized, though questionably functional, woodwork and metal pieces.

Samwoong Lee, Seoul

Samwoong Lee is known for far-out designs that just scream for attention from anyone that sets foot in your home. The Octopus Series (middle photo) is no different, comprised of several pieces including the sofa pictured here, an accompanying ottoman and matching lamp, all constructed with lacquer and mother of pearl. Lovely though it is, it will discourage couchsurfers from overstaying their welcome.

Joonhyun Kim, Tokyo

Though known for designing stylish knickknacks for the office and home, the most illuminating idea from Korean designer Joonhuyn Kim is the Flat Bulb. The flattened version of the traditional incandescent light bulb is one-third the volume, much easier to package and just flat-out cool. (There, we said it.) In Kim’s own words: When I think of light bulbs, I think of how hot they are, how they give me light at night, and how easy they are to break! If you’re lucky, you might be able to get one at Yanko Design, if there are any left in stock.

Choi Byung Hoon, Gangwon-do

One of Korea’s early innovators of modern design, in 1977 Choi founded the Society for the Creation of Decorative and Applied Arts, which profoundly affected the future of design in Korea. Through his travels in the 70s, Choi found inspiration from the Mayan, Incan, African and Indian cultures. His work, which often infuses natural stone shapes with finely worked wood, has been exhibited throughout Korea and the world.

Din and Dip Design Studio, Seoul

The designing pair of Jongho Park and Junbum Park have put their own spin on the role of traditional Korean furniture for a contemporary setting with their series of desks, stools and varied furniture pieces. The cabinets on the left are based on the design of traditional Korean styles such as gyi-byeok-gan and jang-seok, designed to expresses elegant and simple beauty through the division of the furniture space. Sounds good to us. And they simply look great.

Kihyun Kim, Seoul

While the photo in the middle may look like an ordinary chair, Kihyun Kim’s design, known as the Zeitraum 1.3 Chair, took top honors at the 2012 Design Museum London Awards. Not bad for a guy who graduated from London’s Royal College of Art just a year earlier. The word Zeitraum is German for period of time, while the 1.3 denotes the fact that the chair weighs in at an unbelievably low 1.3 kgs (2.8 lbs). Constructed of compressed balsa wood, then layered with a hardwood veneer to give it structural stability, it comes in even lighter than designer Gio Ponti’s famed 1957 chair design at 1.7 kgs.




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