Some of the most inspiring designers believed that sculpture could play a useful role in everyday life. They often developed on the theme of abstraction until they reached a functional end point, creating a rare object that has stood the test of time. In my opinion one of the the hardest things to do is to involve art in to our everyday environment, not just as a framed article but something we actually use and function with. Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor who achieved this rare feat, and I’ve been particularly enamoured with one of the lesser known facets of his sculptural practice, playground design.
Even though only a few of his innovative playgrounds and play sculptures were ever brought to fruition, the concept of his sculpture being used functionally and in certain outdoor environments was a common thread running throughout his career. Noguchi did a similar thing with furniture, and I was interested to see these experimental works designed by Jeonghwa Seo that include furniture and a selection of deskware exploring the structure and shape of functional objects.
His aim is to find an uncommon form through experimentation, and we can see this in the photos above and below. The pieces that he’s designed have been constructed from basalt, a rock that was quarried and then fabricated in Jeju island, Korea. Inspired by natural forms, such as volcanic cones and structural components situated on the island, he’s been able to stack elements to create unique formations, alongside carved functional goods for office environments. Overall some nice trial and error that has inspired me to look at alternate sources for new ideas. More like this can be found on Jeonghwa’s website linked below.