Art Meets Appliance Design: A Conversation With Designers Seungji Mun and Hosuk Jang on Sustainability and DesignShare open/close
For Milan Design Week 2023, Samsung Electronics is collaborating with two celebrated Korean designers to showcase the elevated Bespoke vision of “Bespoke Home, Bespoke Life.”
Designer Seungji Mun, well-known for his minimalist, functional, and eco-conscious industrial designs, and designer Hosuk Jang, a space and interior designer renowned for catering to a variety of different lifestyles, brought their unique design philosophies to the booth’s Sustainability and Design Zones respectively.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with the artists to learn more about their exhibits and the background behind the collaboration.
Connecting With Nature and Sustainability Through Bespoke — Seungji Mun
Born and raised on South Korea’s Jeju Island, Mun established his first atelier in Copenhagen, Denmark and found inspiration in both Korean and Danish aesthetics for his designs. He has had numerous experiences working on projects related to sustainability, and is known for his eco-conscious designs “Economical Chair” and “Four Brothers.” The Sustainability Zone that Mun worked on is titled “We Breathe.”
Q: After collaborating with Samsung and Bespoke appliances on designs like “Just Cabinet” and “My Island,” what motivates you to continue working with Bespoke?
[Seungji Mun] The Just Cabinet design was my first project with Samsung Bespoke. We approached the “bespoke” concept of the Bespoke refrigerator as a furniture piece rather than a kitchen wall, integrating it seamlessly into the design of the furniture. Our aim with this project was to showcase how kitchen appliances can transcend the traditional confines of the kitchen and become a part of other areas, such as the living room, to be part of a different story in people’s lives. This project was a great opportunity and kickstarted various other collaboration projects with Samsung.
Q: A recurring theme in your designs is the need to coexist with nature. In your opinion, what makes sustainable designs — and specifically eco-conscious appliances — so important today?
[Mun] In the world we live in today, going green is no longer a special matter but rather a necessity. It is now one of the most important factors that must be considered as we move forward with our designs. Therefore, I believe that designing with sustainability and eco-consciousness in mind should be the norm rather than an exception. In addition, I believe that home appliances are most closely associated with our lives, so it seems inevitable to me that products that reflect the values of sustainability are seeing a rise in production.
Q: Could you tell us more about the latest collaboration “We Breathe” and what it says about sustainable living?
[Mun] In “We Breathe,” we aimed to create a design that merged the front-facing side of our appliances and the side of our homes that we see every day with the dark and hidden interior of those same appliances. By doing so, we have created the visual image of these appliances resting and storing their energy in the same space that we also live and breathe in. Also, as most of the components of the exhibition are made from recycled materials, we strived to convey the message of sustainability.
Q: Bespoke Life’s sustainability philosophy is about making sustainability a natural part of daily life. How did you incorporate Bespoke’s philosophy into the design?
[Mun] Bespoke Home introduced the concept of designing one’s interior with a wide variety of color choices and created a new kind of demand in a market of predominantly white home appliances. Furthermore, Bespoke conveys values of sustainability through changeable panels which extends the lifespan of the products. “We Breathe” also reflects the Bespoke vision through the reduction of wasted resources by utilizing recycled materials while also maintaining an aesthetically pleasing design.
True Customization for Any Household and Individual — Hosuk Jang
After working as a graphic designer in New York, Jang founded Hosting House for the space design and lifestyle industries upon his return to Korea. Today, Jang is a leading figure in his field with a host of accolades under his belt, including winning Designer’s Choice of the Year at the 2018 Seoul Living Design Fair. The Design Zone Jang spearheaded is titled “Framed.”
Q: Your work is rooted in catering to and enhancing various lifestyles. In your opinion, what makes lifestyle-centric design so important today?
[Hosuk Jang] I believe it’s important for people to have the freedom to pursue designs catered to their individualistic lifestyle. Creating design options that encourage users to develop their own styles is what’s driving my work today.
Q: As a designer, what possibilities do Bespoke appliances create in terms of catering to various lifestyles and interiors?
[Jang] Bespoke home appliances have opened a new era for home appliance design by offering customization with a wide variety of colors, materials and even layout configurations.
Taking this a step further, new Bespoke products have been released recently that empower users to partake in more sustainable lifestyles at home. As sustainability becomes top of mind for many people with climate change, features that can help reduce the environmental impact have become essential to consumers.
Q: You previously partnered with Samsung and Bespoke appliances on designs such as “The Laundry Bar” and “Garden of Air.” What is it about Bespoke that inspires you to continue collaborating?
[Jang] When we were first commissioned by Samsung Home Appliances in 2019 for the Bespoke Project, the first thing that we felt was that they truly wanted something new.
For our part, we thought we could integrate the refrigerator to become part of the kitchen décor instead of just decorating it as a separate unit. The result was a wall with modular picture frames that users can rearrange themselves. Later with the Laundry Bar project for the Bespoke Grande AI, we took a similar approach, integrating the washing machine into the wall with the door decorated to blend seamlessly into the space.
We’ve been excited to have had the opportunity to work on various Bespoke projects with Samsung. And for this Fuorisalone project, the idea was to showcase these Bespoke concepts outside of Korea, for the first time, with Milan as the stage.
Q: How does “Framed” combine lifestyle-centric designs with Bespoke’s true customization?
[Jang] We’ve taken our “Framed” project, which was created in 2019 to celebrate the launch of Bespoke, and the Laundry Bar, our 2020’s concept created to celebrate the launch of Bespoke Grande AI and refreshed them for Fuorisalone 2023.
For the design elements of “Framed,” we’ve mixed modern luxury with classic design. Such design choices for “Framed” were my take on interior décor that is unhindered by boundaries, expressing my creativity through various techniques and devices. This also reflects Bespoke’s vision of true customization, highlighting that interior design is not just for professionals but something that anyone can achieve according to their taste, personality and lifestyle.
Q: What advice would you give consumers who are interested in enhancing their interiors with Bespoke home appliances?
[Jang] I believe that the biggest advantage of Samsung Bespoke Home appliances is that they can harmonize with other appliances in any space. Or, if you’re looking to change your décor, look at Bespoke as a blank canvas on which you can explore new ways of creative expression.
No matter personal taste or the variety of sizes, configurations and materials, your Bespoke designs can easily keep pace as your lifestyle evolves.
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