Art and Design is an activity of wielding affordance in an object. As much as it can be artificially created, it is equally discovered. While some cultures covet artificial production of affordance, other cultures appreciate and delight in finding use and significance in natural objects and states. I inquire such foundational premise of design through juxtaposition between natural stones and artificial counterparts.
As part of the SOUND×HANGEUL : Variation Of The Korean Alphabet exhibit at the Hangeul Museum in Seoul, Mobi units were assembled in the shapes of tongues, which is known to have inspired the shapes of Hangeul, Korean alphabets.
The project’s goal is to investigate a methodical approach to formal beauty deeper than basic visual ideas such as golden proportion or symmetry.
I established two foundational ideas, Elegance and Extravagance. Elegance occurs when perceived effort in achieving a great output is relatively small. A type of efficiency is found in an object where the form or the effort behind its construction is modest in comparison to the effect it achieves. On the other hand, Extravagance deals with the display of the scale, expense, and power that the subject required. European cathedrals reveals the concept of Extravagance as their scale, detail, and magnitude yield a beauty of impressive kind. In reality, beauty occurs in various proportional combinations of these two, as no object seems to be one but not at all the other.
Mobi is an attempt to manifest this theory by combining Elegance and Extravagance through a means of craft. An approach of modularity is employed to allow efficient expansion and flexibility - extravagance progressively emerges from the simple act of labor. Combining human labor and mass-manufacturing, Mobi questions the boundary of the craft and art of making. Mobi is built as furniture, spatial objects, and sculptural forms.
text from the Art Institute of Chicago's website :
This fall the Art Institute opens a new installation devoted to the museum’s seminal collection of architectural drawings and furniture, graphic, and industrial designs of the 20th and 21st centuries. This evolving Modern Wing display is the first of its kind in the United States, highlighting important acquisitions and presenting architecture and design as an integrated, ever-changing, and multilayered experience.
The practitioners represented in the Art Institute’s diverse collection showcase the many voices that have shaped the fields of architecture and design and continue to do so today. From Daniel H. Burnham, Marion Mahony Griffin, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to Armin Hofmann, Louis Kahn, and Lauretta Vinciarelli as well as contemporary practitioners such as Stan Allen, Irma Boom, Studio Gang, and Yuri Suzuki, works from our past, present, and future are organized chronologically by theme. Sections range from the history of ornament and Pop to contemporary moments in urbanism and speculative design. Delving into the development of the modern city, the effect of technological transformations, the impact of evolving health concerns, and the influence of global dynamics, the history of modern and contemporary architecture and design is presented as a living social and cultural process. A series of new, immersive videos further illuminate key issues and works from Chicago and the Midwest, across the nation, and around the world.
Taking our increasingly complex social, cultural, and political landscape into consideration, this display emphasizes the critical role architecture and design continues to play in identifying urgent issues and generating new thinking and problem solving. Its dynamic narratives highlight the impact of architecture and design thinking and practice on our lives, opening up a space for conversations with the general public, architecture and design enthusiasts, and experts in these fields alike.
Sung Jang Laboratory participated in a cross-disciplinary exhibit in Seoul, DaVinci Codex. The exhibit held in the historic old Seoul Station - Turned Museum, celebrates Leonardo DaVinci's prolific and multi-disciplinary approaches to his work through works by 7 artists, designers, and technologists. We built two large installations in the exhibit, an architecture, and a suspended whale. The exhibit received a high public response and was ranked as #1 art/culture exhibit in Korea for several weeks.
photo ⓒ wooseop hwang
about 700 Mobi Units / 200 Top Module in plywood / 150x160x40 cm
SJL was asked to create two installations for the Armory Show as a special design projects for the fair. The stairway which connects the two fairgrounds, Pier 94 and Pier 92 was addressed with Mobi structures as a gateway to the other space.
The Reflect mausoleum proposes a shift in the paradigm in burial culture of Korea. As cremation becomes a growingly accepted format of burial, replacing traditional coffin burial process to conserve densely populated and scarce land resource in the country, variety of options have emerged, most popular among them is a semi-public ossuary. However, coming from a culture that historically reveres private burial territory, these ossuary brings only compromised modern offerings while the alternative solutions of private space demanding high cost. The Reflect offers four to eight, potentially more number of cremated urns within a family to be buried in a land smaller than a single coffin burial requires.
Another important design consideration was to propose a different visiting experience for the living. Departing from a somewhat vertical, hierarchical interaction of the traditional burial format, Reflect creates a horizontal relationship between the buried and the visitor. the polished facade offers a visual and psychological opportunity to reflect and spend a moment with the deceased.
designed for MLPark Cemetary, Chulwon, Korea.
Mobi Whales installation for Expo Chicago 2015
The Structure, titled Mobi_Gate, a rapid-built Pavillion for China's Shenzhen/HongKong Bi-City Architecture Biennale 2015. The site located in the west harbor of Schezhen, facing HongKong, is only one hour away from the manufacturer of the units. The gate is composed of 11,000 units in the color of red, creating an intense visual presence especially during the daylight, producing a surreal glow within the space.
A fully weighted pen on a stone base. The pen is milled from solid brass and weighs .3 pound. The surprising weight of the pen briefly reminds the user of the importance of his writing every time he picks up the pen.
Through the Calibre Project, Sung is sending the Calibre pen to an on-going list of top world leaders in various fields. Perhaps the pen will remind them of the weight of their influence through the signatures.
suspended object \ chandelier exhibited at Chamber NYC
mobi low table \ smoked glass
mobi low table \ double \ polished stainless
Hair on Canvas
270 x 120 cm, 2011
Hair on Canvas
360 x 120 cm, 2010
for more info, visit sung-jang.com
Hair on wooden board 203 x 90cm 2012
for more info, visit sung-jang.com
hair on wooden board, 203x180cm 2012
for more info, visit sung-jang.com
Hair on Canvas
120 x 90 cm, 2009
for more info, visit sung-jang.com
02 Tea Cup is the refined evolution of its predecessor, Otea.
02 is a discursive design exercise investigating the use of functional semantics to manifest what I see as an important aspect in Korean objects: co-existence of extreme customs and freedom.
The cup is hand crafted by celebrated ceramicist Mr. Son Min-Young and produced in I-Cheon, Korea by the design of Sung. The interior of the cup is glazed while the exterior surface is matte polished.
O2 is SJL's first auto production in limited edition of 200. Each copy is hand signed and numbered at the bottom of the birch base and presented in a paulowinia box.
Low tables from Comb Pattern Collection. Shown are two pieces out of the auto production collection where no duplication is made. Sycamore top, maple or oak legs.
First launched at Aa Design Museum in Seoul.
Y Stool from Comb Pattern Collection, Features removable locking legs and mast in maple, seat in maple or oak.
03 Stool from Comb Pattern Collection. The seat is cnc milled in various hardwood in unique comb patterns, legs in hard maple.
Comb Pattern Collection Bench - The Bench is the most essential piece within the collection. All editions feature unique comb patterns, maple or oak top, removable maple legs. 42 inches long.
Ply Form Lamps are made with formed aircraft plywood on CNC milled wooden chasis. The collection features 2 sizes of floor lamps and several one off variants. Uses incandescent antique tube bulbs.
Long Comb Pattern Table on wooden blocks. Usable as table or bench, birch top.
Designed with a concept of Ample Allowance in mind, Stroll allows for freedom of mobility, configuration, personal and inter-personal postures and activities to all outdoor activities in a simple and familiar yet uniquely iconic and memorable design.
Stroll features a seat that is about 1.5 times wider compared to a normal chair. This unique proportion allows for diverse possibilities for seating and activity for one or two users, depending on the size and relationship between the users. The extra space can also be used for personal items such as a bag or lunch. While proving useful, the 1.5 seat proportion still remains very manageable and mobile. Relatively flat and low seat surface also caters to versatile use while the bottom leg rail allows for stability on grass.
Stroll features two 3 inch wheels which allows for easy mobility within the entire Battery Conservancy. The wheels, located on the front to avoid accidental rear -tipping, also creates a unique and iconic visual image to represent the active and enjoyable experience in the environment.
Stroll is a registered design, Inquire sung jang laboratory for licensing.
Eqnimal collection is a newly released EQB series in 2014.
EQBOT is a collection of modular wooden robot toy designed for EQB. The growing collection so far carries three types of robots, each kit contains 25 pieces which can be assembled in unlimited ways to construct creative characters.
Modular Toy for EQB. EQMobile was recognized as one of the top 3 selection by the Toy Awards at Nurnberg Toy Fair, 2014
MyZoo Collection is a hardwood modular toy designed for EQB in Seoul. With the use of patented genderless snap and turn joint system also designed and engineered by Sung, each joint can click into one another for creative toy building. Several new members in the collection is currently being developed.
Stay - collection of study - is an initial exploration for limited quantity production furniture. Stay is an investigation of balance between value and efficiency. All parts are assembled without hardware. These prototypes has developed into the next phase development, the Comb Pattern Collection.
Pour Celine is a small stool composed of two distinctive materials : ceramic top and oak legs. As an on-going research for approaches inspired by traditional Korean design essence, Pour Celine applies visual clarity in the composition of non-hardware furniture design.
Pour Celine was first introduced in PAD London, by Cristina Grajales Gallery in NYC.
Pour Celine is a gregorysung project.
Stool T is an evolved model in the lineage of Pour Celine, featuring simpler-produced components and higher stability. Ceramic top, oak tripod. Stool T was first introduced in Wright 21, Chicago, IL, and Volume Gallery's Temperature 2012 for MAD, Museum of Art and Design, NYC.
Pour Ce is a continuation of the juxtaposed materials investigations in furniture. The class-fiber concrete shelves fit on the oak frame, applying downward pressure to stabilize the thin structures by gravity.
Pour Ce was first introduced through Cristina Grajales Gallery in Design Miami, 2010.
Pour Ce is a gregorysung Project.
Stonecurve is a material and process driven project to push the possibility of Glass Fiber Infused Concrete in indoor furniture application. Although the single cast piece from CNC master form faced practical challenges such as difficulty in logistics due to weight, GFIC does proves to be a material with potential.
Stonecure is a concept prototype.
Pianoforte Secretary is functional secretary table produced as part of Pianoforte Collection by Roche Bobois. Minimal and simplified table form opens to reveal work space when necessary. Produced by Roche Bobois, distributed worldwide through RB.
Pianoforte Secretary is a gregorysung project.
Part of Pianoforte Collction by Roche Bobois. Pianoforte Game is a small table for four, featuring a flip-top with built-in chess board and felt surfaces for card games. Limited edition chess set was also designed to accompany the table.
Pianoforte collection is a gregorysung project.
Piano is a musical instrument, furniture, object of function and Symbol of culture. Pianoforte for Roche Bobois is a series of chair inspired by the multi-faceted significance of Piano. Produced by Roche Bobois, distributed worldwide through RB. Pianoforte was listed as one of the top 10 dining chairs by Elle Decor Magazine in 2009 and was featured at the Academy Awards' Green Room in 2010.
Pianoforte collection is a gregorysung project.
OTea started as an investigation to understand and manifest the essence of Korean design approach, in short, formality within freedom. OTea is a tea set with egg-shaped pot and cups which are held by wooden base. In use, it allows the user to hold the tea freely, close to natural form of cupping liquid in hand while gently limiting the place to return the cup only to its own base.
OTea was first introduced through Phillips de Pury, produced by porcelain artisans in I-Cheon, Korea.
Over 2.1 billion people live without access to electricity. Another billion people live with unreliable access to power. The great majority of these people illuminate their homes and businesses with fuel-based kerosene lamps. Kerosene lamps are inefficient and unhealthy, causing fires, burns and lung disease. Kerosene lamps produce more greenhouse gasses per unit of illumination than any other common light source. Moreover kerosene lighting is expensive, more expensive for a unit of light than what we pay in the developed world.
Providing 21st century energy efficient LED lights to people who currently use 19th century fuel-based lighting will improve the quality of life, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove a major cause of burns and lung disease for a large portion of people alive today. Key to widespread replacement of kerosene lamps with LED lighting is quantifying their economic, environmental and health benefits, and designing a universal LED circuit board that can economically match LEDs to a variety of power supplies, including solar electric panels and recycled chargers.
A universal LED circuit board will reduce the cost of an LED light from $25.00 to $1.95, significantly reducing the cost of rural solar electric LED lighting systems to the point where they are less expensive than kerosene lights.
Just a single watt of LED lighting provides more illumination than a kerosene lamp. LED light is better for reading, thus children can study in the evenings. Solar LED lights are more reliable lasting about 100,000 hours, or 68 years at 4 hours per night. LED/solar lights are available whenever needed, which is particularly important for urgent matters like delivering babies and medical emergencies.
Switching from kerosene lamps to LED lighting is a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life for billions of people while at the same time reducing fuel consumption.
Lamp from pre-fabricated wooden dowels, and a piece of scrap wood. LED is connected to a phone charger to complete the circuit, transparent bottle cap is used as a diffuser.
Shine On lights create opportunities to start and perpetuate local economy by providing designs for local products that are not traditional craft based. Shine On can be produced without heavy machines or high cost. Locals are now able to produce native tech-products
The concept of Topiade was created by identifying central attributes of the famous French fashion brand, Louis Vuitton : luxury, french, heritage and craftsmanship. The central challenge was to bring to Louis Vuitton a powerful and iconic yet versatile design that can represent the brand for a long time. Our decision was to associate the French topiary garden with Louis Vuitton .
Topiade brings to the facade of the building a vertical version of the luxurious and traditional french garden that redefine Louis Vuitton’s virtue. Several variants are proposed within the concept in various graphical layouts such as freely scattered, and in various Louis Vuitton patterns.
Topiade is composed of individual blocks. Topiary plants are grown on a skeletal armature of various shapes and sizes, arranged to be attached onto a covering layer of the existing facade. There are a number of structural solutions proposed. Among them, the structure design 1 features armature with soil/nutrient blocks and a network of water feeding pipes that double as connecting mechanism between the block and the building. Structure design 2 allows easy reconfiguration of the topiary block layouts by omitting the water feeding system, each blocks “snap” to the grid of the facade.
Topiade is a gregorysung project, designed with Aoi Hasegawa.
A transparent bridge-like structure which stands just slightly under the water surface enables the a whole new environmental experience. Without a visible structure, the person seems like he or she is standing on water, creating a strange and poetic scenery. The structure is roughly 3 meters long, constructed with 1.5cm clear acrylic boards. Installation took place in Boisbuchet, France.
Walk on Water was the result of Vitra Museum Workshop in Boisbuchet, 2005 with Shin Azumi.
Milyang Riverside Wall Project was designed to occupy 150m section of riverside concrete wall to create refreshing and iconic visual offerings in the rural part of the peninsula.
Several concepts based on continuing patterns to materials, and sun-reacting modular tiles were conceived.