Korean design lands at Venice Design 2019

Korean design from Jungmo Yang took part in the 2019 Venice Design edition with the participation of 60 designers from 30 different countries

Venice Design is an event gathering 60 designers from 30 different countries, it is a unique encounter for the discussion and investigation of the important role of design today.

The exhibition brings together an international and multidisciplinary selection of projects in the field of design, from crafts and fashion to graphism and art installations.

2019 Venice Design
2019 Venice Design in Palazzo Michiel

In Palazzo Michiel, until the 24th of November 2019, designers presented innovative and conscious solutions when exploring contemporary issues and reflecting on humans’ needs, habits, and traditions.

Through interactive pieces and immersive installations, the presented projects triggered our senses and perceptions and offered an inviting space for participation. The audience played a central role as an actor who activates the show and dives into an original physical experience.

Korean Design
Gyeol Chair by Korean designer Jungmo Yang

Jungmo Yang, a participant in this year’s Venice Design edition, is a South Korean designer born in Seoul, graduated from Seoul National University of Science and Technology and worked in SWBK as an industrial designer. 

In 2015, he ran research about materials and production techniques. In 2016, he opened his own studio in Seoul and now he works on projects ranging from furniture to handcraft and industrial design for lighting.

After he majored in Industrial Design at university, he worked for a design agency and then realized it was boring to make products with a simple design, therefore, Jungmo Yang decided to work with craft to feel the pleasure of handwork when dealing with various materials.

Then, he discovered the wish to develop Korean design and work with furniture and lighting.

“As a designer, I constantly research the efficient and effective utilization of materials and manufacturing techniques with curiosity. To do so, it is crucial to develop my imagination for well-refined objects. I always face limitations, for example, to use a limited material, manufacturing technique and production system whenever starting a new project.

I don’t limit my extraordinary idea on the object even if it seems hard to achieve in reality. My flexible response towards pieces enables me to create well-refined objects under the difficult circumstances”.

Korean Design by Jungmo Yang
Gyeol Chair by Jungmo Yang

Jungmo Yang brought to Venice his Gyeol Chair. We can read the concept of this object in the following lines. 

“The initial intuition was that of a chair which embraces a natural texture of wood. At that time, I worked with a Korean design furniture brand that produces the multi-function furniture using plywood and proposed a new chair that can be used with other items of the furniture brand.

They accepted this proposal that allowed me to develop a new chair. In this project, it is important to select a stably supplied material and to simplify a production process. Considering this situation, we decided to use the birch plywood which is a popular DIY material with stable supply in South Korea.

This material has a beautiful texture that matches the chair I had thought”.

To complete his research journey, Jungmo collected a wide range of birch plywood in with varied thickness, realizing that the thinner the material, the more naturally it bends.

In this process, he found out the natural curve of the thinnest one (4mm) looks visually comfortable and based on this, he made a prototype with paper and solid foam by applying the natural curves to the seat and backrest.

The designer underlines that people look like strong creatures, but they are sensitive even to the slightest discomfort, due to the fact that it is particularly hard for them to sit on a chair that is uncomfortable. So Jungmo invested time on removing any minor flaw and after the function is done, next is the design and the charm. 

To create a timeless design, the chair should have indescribable charm. So I believe that charm comes before design” declared Jungmo.

Gyeol means “texture” in Korean. Gyeol chair is made from the thinnest birch plywood and the beechwood frame. Thin plywood bends naturally, making the comfortable curve both visually and physically.

Korean Design
Jungmo invested time on removing any minor flaw from the Gyeol Chair

Another masterpiece, in the collection of the Korean design, is the so-called “Woven Lamp”, whose graceful and silent appearance mesmerizes your heart. “Woven Lamp” brightens the tables of happy families or lights up for someone reading a book, it is the perfect light for those moments when you want to calm your mind. 

“Woven Lamp” presents a minimal but timeless design. The traditional Korean “hanji” paper is patterned using modern offset printing technology: a great way to keep the spirit of Korean paper alive since it is no longer used much these days. Through the paper, light warmly embraces all of us. 

Korean Design lamp
Woven Lamp by Jungmo Yang

Through the Korean Design and Craft Foundation (KCDF), Jungmo had the opportunity to visit several workshops from Jeonju, in South Korea, which is one of the country’s “hanji” producing areas. Afterward, the team found the ideal pattern for their design, created by overlapping the “hanji” papers.

The design was inspired by the texture of Korean paper and its similarity to well-woven fabric. The blue horizontal lines show up when the light is turned off and the vertical lines appear to create a pattern when the light is on.

Korean Design lamp by Jungmo Yang
Woven Lamp by Jungmo Yang keeps spirit of Korean paper alive

Jungmo intended to create a smooth and warm feel with the unique texture of Korean paper, which produces indescribable beauty in the process of penetrating light in everyday objects.


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