This Breakout Korean Lighting Brand Was One of Our Favorites at Maison & Objet

In its golden age in the 1970s and ‘80s, the neighborhood of Euljiro was the manufacturing heart of Seoul. Today it’s where you go if you’re in the market for circuit boards, wires, bolts and gauges: anything that’s used to make anything. It’s also the home of AGO, a new Korean lighting brand that launched at Maison&Objet in Paris over the weekend. AGO collaborates with the craftsmen of Euljiro, who remain among the warren of small factories, metal workshops, and print shops still operating from a neighborhood under threat of gentrification. (The name AGO is derived from the Korean term for “old friends,” which refers to both the makers of Euljiro and the designers they work with.)

AGO’s mother company has been working from Euljiro for twenty years in the production and distribution of lighting. Leaning on this experience, founder Woobok Lee established AGO together with design director Mars Hwasung Yoo, the industrial designer behind BYMARS studio in Stockholm. For their debut, they’ve collaborated with designers from Korea, Switzerland and Sweden to present eight collections that blur the lines between residential and contract. Each AGO collection has a distinct personality, from the elegant Bell by JWDA — a spotlight that brings a friendly form to traditionally cold track lighting — to the Mozzi by BYMARS, whose gentle dimple recalls lightly-poked mochi. We particularly love the playful Cirkus chandelier by BYMARS, whose thick tubes call to mind a horseshoe. Check out some of our favorites below. 


Alley by JWDAAGO_CIRKUS_interior_02

Cirkus by BYMARS

AGO_ALLEY_interior_04 AGO_ALLEY_interior_03

Alley by JWDA


Mozzi by BYMARS


Probe by BIG-GAME

AGO_CIRKUS_interior_03 AGO_CIRKUS_interior_01

Cirkus by BYMARS


Bell by JWDA


Mozzi by BYMARS


Pinch by John Astbury & Tove Thambert


Nova by Jinsik Kim


Pinch by John Astbury & Tove Thambert


Cirkus by BYMARS


Balloon by Studio Word


Alley by JWDA