credit Jun-Ho Yum
words Kelly Pollard
Korean designer Seung-Yong Song has transformed the archetypal chair with a collection that strikes a balance between whimsy and function.
“Things seem to reject change because their identities were already defined too long ago, according to their functions and shapes,” Song says. The designer looks beyond typical forms and seeks to emancipate objects from their identities. His work does not seek to “deny or destroy the identity based on the stereotype”; rather, it playfully explores the relationship between object and user.
Song explains why he is fascinated by this relationship: “Objects change their function depending on the user,” he says. “Nonetheless, the essence of the object does not go away.” He says that the inspiration for the Objets collection comes from the “trivial habits in daily life and from surrounding environments”.
The collection, which recently debuted at the Seoul Design Festival, reinterprets the chair by giving it new functions – without removing its basic one. Song frees the chair from “its duty as object to be sat [upon]”. Each chair has its own “personality”, with a different elongated form that enables it to double as a clothes horse, lamp, shelf or ladder. For example, Objet-O is a chair with an oversized paper lampshade, enables users to create their own personal cozy space. Objet-E is not only a rocking chair, but also incorporates an elevated clothes line. Objet-A and Objet-B function as shelving unit and ladder, respectively. The simplistic elegance of the collection is intended to create useful objects that bring “comfort and freedom to living spaces”.
Song believes that the name of an object often defines, or restricts, its function, which is why he has called his collection “Objets”. The name is intentionally non-specific. “I wanted to bring the pleasure of imagining more freely and discovering the new usage of the object to the users,” he says.