Kwangho Lee at Design Miami/Basel 2018

Kwangho Lee On Using a 15th-Century Technique To Make Today’s Coolest Furniture

At Design Miami/Basel this week, Korean designer Kwangho Lee is presenting his latest work with the New York gallery Salon 94 Design — a 25-piece offering, spanning seating, side tables, cabinets, lamps, and planters, that continues Lee’s career-long quest to resuscitate enamel’s old-fashioned image. “Korean people aren’t very interested in it as a traditional material,” he explains of his longtime technique, chilbo, which dates back to the 15th century. “They think it’s something boring and old-fashioned.”
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The colors themselves also change as the pieces are fired. “I can now manage to calculate the right temperature for each color, but the patterns and the way the paint flows and drips is always different from what I expect,” Lee says. “But that’s what I enjoy about it.”

Kwangho Lee’s Enamel-Skinned Copper Series

Kwangho Lee fancies himself a simple man. The 29-year-old grew up on a farm in South Korea watching his mother knit clothes and his grandfather make tools with his bare hands, which ultimately became the inspirations behind his work. He values nostalgia and rejects greed, and more like a craftsman than a designer, he prefers sculpting and manipulating ordinary materials to engineering the precise outcome of an object. “I dream of producing my works like a farmer patiently waiting to harvest the rice in autumn after planting the seed in spring,” he muses on his website. It all starts to sound a bit trite, but then you see the outcome: hot-pink shelves knitted from slick PVC tubing, lights suspended inside a mess of electrical wire, towering Impressionist thrones carved from blocks of black sponge. Lee may have old-fashioned ideals, but he designs for the modern world, and that’s the kind of transformative alchemy that draws people to an artist.
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The Best of Milan Design Week 2019, Part I

Each year in Milan brings something truly wonderful to behold, whether it's furniture hoisted into inflatable bubbles (Nilufar Depot), a newly open-to-the-public Piero Portaluppi interior (Massimo de Carlo Gallery), or the coolest amoeba-shaped marble tables we've ever seen (by Studio Binocle, which we're featuring here today). We'll be devoting our whole week to coverage from the fair so stay tuned, and click through for the first of our favorites.
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The South Korean Designer Making “Art Futons” A Thing

Sang Hoon Kim's Foam Series is a collection of seats, bookcases, chaises, tables, and even rugs made from colorful, flexible memory foam that's mixed in varying solutions to create levels of texture and cushion. The results have a blocky form language that's reminiscent of Kwangho Lee or Max Lamb mixed with the color sensibility of a Chris Schanck; the chaise is a particular favorite, resembling as it does the coolest futon you could ever imagine.
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Week of August 20, 2018

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: an unlikely source for geometric bedding, a bathroom made beautiful by neon grout, and a political art initiative to benefit one of our favorite organizations, She Should Run.
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A Short List of Everything We Loved At This Year’s Design Miami/Basel

Even if nothing else of interest had launched at last week's Design Miami/Basel, we would have still done this round-up if only to feature Galerie VIVID's Column Paintings by Thomas Trum, seen at the top of this post; nothing about the recent Design Academy Eindhoven's previous two-dimensional work could have prepared us for the awesomeness of these two-toned painted shelving units. Luckily, there was other good stuff at the fair to be found as well.
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10 Designers on Their Favorite Dining Chairs

When you love design as much as we do, it can be hard to choose your favorite, well, anything. If asked to choose our favorite dining chair of all time, for example, would we pick a luxurious Milo Baughman? Or something more classic like Breuer's Cesca chair? That's exactly the question we posed to 10 designers around the world in our role as guest editors of the second-ever issue of MOLD Magazine.
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Design and Art Are More Connected Than Ever at New York’s Newest Gallery

Whither Johnson Trading Gallery? The New York design gallery — which in its heyday introduced an American audience to the work of contemporary designers like Max Lamb, Kwangho Lee, Katie Stout, Aranda/Lasch, and more (not to mention Rafael de Cárdenas's epic first furniture collection) — had been relatively quiet of late. Now we know why: Earlier this month, it was announced that while JTG will continue selling vintage work, the contemporary artists in their stable will be absorbed into a new program at one of our favorite art galleries, Salon 94.
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Week of February 13, 2017

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: A new dyed-marble table by Silo Studio, a new paper flower project by Confettisystem, a new glass daybed by Dessuant Bone (above), and more.
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Week of November 28, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week was all about beautiful uses of natural materials like ceramic, glass, brass, and leather: in a new series of vessels by Apparatus, in a sofa by a Danish designer who we predict might be the next big thing, and in a new jewelry box, pictured above, that turns a glass orb into a secret hiding spot.
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Week of September 5, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: highlights from our trip to Oslo, an internet wormhole that led us to a Modernist jewelry icon, and a trio of store interiors that are the very definition of "warm minimalism."
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Week of February 1, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week is all about shapes: geometric tables and artworks, a shelf adorned with a wooden squiggle that looks like a break in the space-time continuum, a series of angular Brutalist teapots, and the epic Vignelli-esque, Toogood-esque Moser tray pictured above.
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