My Affair With Korea

My affinity and bias towards Korean designers is often reflected in the articles that I wrote for Yanko Design. So you can imagine my delight when I got the chance to visit the Korean Designers’ stand at the 2013 Munich Creative Business Week. Aside from the informative K-Design Talk (yes, after K-Pop its time to embrace K-Design), there were a couple of designers showcasing their works as a part of the design fest.

Organized with the help of KIDP, the clear intention of the select group was focused on simplistic innovation. My first encounter was the Message Silhouette Light, which are painted light bulbs with integrated messages. A creation of November Design, the studio manufactures and sells eco-friendly design art items. I have my in-dept review in here.

HAT ceiling light by Mars Hwasung Yoo is a playful take on everyday objects. Yoo set up the independent design studio BYMARS, based in Stockholm and now works from there.

Manifesto Design Lab is based in New York and Seoul and their innovative flatware simply floored me. Who would have thought that by adding a simple protrusion to the spoon or knife will make placing the cutlery on the table so much more hygienic.

Tackling the issue of unhygienic tabletops, Hoverware provides a simple solution that prevents the head of cutlery from touching the table.

The Xerock Kim Studio designs furniture and products that explore the relationship between man-made city and nature. Their showstopper Accumulation storage features wood with bark dyed following traditional Korean methods.

Two amazing and highly innovative products that caught my fancy were the Tavolino cushion table and Tavolino Air designed by Joo Design. The former is a comfortable cushioned table prop that allows you to eat or use the laptop right on your lap, the latter is an air-cushioned version that balloons up and deflates as per whim.

Design To Do (Seungyong SONG) has their mind set on creating everyday products in original shapes and simple, natural materials. Their works include vases made of concrete and iron and a light bedside table.

Jaekyoung Kim is one half of design duo KAMKAM and their Dressed-Up Furniture collection has already made a splash across the globe. Their method of incorporating familiar fashion elements like belts and buttons, to items of furniture, gives them a quirky edge. Crafted from leather, plywood, sponge and ash, the furniture lineup is simply amazing!

The overall vibe that the designers and the exhibition exuded was that of hope and accomplishment. It was an honor to be amongst such talented people and be a part of their dreams.