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LDF11: Cross Cultural Design Project at Designersblock

Daeil Seo and Suhyeon Kim 'Happylight Saucer'

The Cross Cultural Design Project at Designersblock pretty much does what it says on the tin. A group of Korean design students were challenged to respond to a brief set by Pi Studio at Goldsmiths to highlight the scope of design that spans more than one culture, whilst also asking how design can unite different cultures.


We loved everything about the ‘Happylight Saucer’, including it’s name, designed by Daeil Seo and Suhyeon Kim. This crockery collection brings together the British tradition of ‘taking tea’, with an idea based on a Korean proverb – literally meaning ‘names and natures do often agree’. Traditional Korean symbols engraved onto the white crockery are designed to light up, making the process of ‘taking tea’ an even more pleasurable experience.

Sunmoon Na and Yoonhee Lee 'Respect Your Meal'/ Sooji Kim and Doohyung Kong 'Reborn Tie'

Sunmoon Na and Yoonhee Lee’s collection of rests for Western cutlery, ‘Respect Your Meal’, brings the tradition of resting spoon and chopsticks on porcelain supports to the Western dining culture by offering rests developed for the shapes of knives and forks.

Sooji Kim and Doohyung Kong’s sleek and stylish ‘Reborn Tie’ brings together British and Korean formal wear traditions – the bow tie being central to Korea’s traditional style and of course the regular British tie. ARTS THREAD can really see this one taking off!

Juhee Han and Miyeon Kim 'SLAP bag'/ Guetae Kim, Jihyo Shin and Seula Woo 'Kissing Birds'

Juhee Han and Miyeon Kim’s ‘SLAP Bag’ is an ingenious multi-purpose product with a design based on a traditional Korean toy called ‘Ttakji’. The bag opens up to become a picnic mat, a concept inspired by the different approaches to areas of grass in urban areas – in Korea these areas are restricted from public use, in Britain we are encouraged to use green space.

The ‘Kissing Birds’ by Guetae Kim, Jihyo Shin and Seula Woo reflect the tradition of giving wooden geese to newlyweds as a symbol of a long happy marriage. When the beaks of these birds touch, they emit a lovely warm glowing light.

The project looks at how different design practices, traditions and styles can inform one another, and how an understanding of the differences and similarities between cultures can provide inspiration in the design process. This approach can surely lead the way in terms of innovation, as well as develop relationships between cultures through design.

For more information on Designersblock check out the website.

Goldsmiths, University of London

To contact the designers:
Sunmoon Na sd2114168@nate.com
Yoonhee Lee uniqueunice@naver.com
Suhyeon Kim ksn8934@naver.com
Daeil Seo sdihoho@naver.com
Sooji Kim lucid_eye@naver.com
Doohyung Kong DesignerKD@hotmail.com
Guetae Kim mario.gyu@gmail.com
Jihyo Shin & Seula Woo kanuez2@gmail.com