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

For its debut, the new Korean lighting brand AGO has 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.
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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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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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These Colorful Vases Are the Latest Sign that Acrylic Is on the Rise

Remember when we named the California Light and Space art movement one of the top trends to watch in 2017? Well, the evidence just keeps mounting. Seoul design trio Hattern say their new series of two-tone acrylic vases were inspired by the way Impressionist painters tried to capture the effects of changing light quality on nature, but we can't help but see elements of Vasa, Helen Pashgian, and Peter Alexander's work. Is acrylic the new marble?
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These New Copper Vessels Will Make Your Houseplants Unkillable

Ask anyone what kind of houseplant you ought to get if you're cursed with a black thumb, and you're nearly always regaled with tales of the wonderful, unkillable qualities of cacti and succulents. But frankly, we've had bad luck with more than a few of that breed. Été Studios, a new product-design studio based in Seoul, Korea, is here to help. Their first line of products consists of a series of vases and pots specially designed to make growing cacti and succulents easier. Larger vessels are made from copper, a material known for its antimicrobial properties that inhibit bacterial growth, and smaller, hydroponic vases are made from two parts.
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B-FIT Assemblage by Fact Non Fact

B-FIT, a project by the Seoul-based design collective Fact Non Fact, is the very definition of eye candy — the geometric shapes it comprises are meant not to function in specific ways, but merely to look pretty and highlight the materials they're made from, which include iron, brass, plaster, terra cotta, marble, wood, glass and concrete. If "A-FIT," according to Fact Non Fact, refers to all the objects in our lives that are optimized for specific functions, like chairs or door handles, "B-FIT" refers to the kinds of objects that aren't. After making the pieces, designers Jinsik Kim, Yuhun Kim, and Eunjae Lee brought them to life in three ways: as a physical installation, as a conceptual deskscape, and as the Assemblage images you see here.
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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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