Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless)
by Lee Sanghyeok


These wooden shelving units and tables have been designed by South Korean designer Lee Sanghyeok to look like scaffolding (+ slideshow).

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

The Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) furniture range by Lee Sanghyeok includes two shelving units and two tables of different sizes.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

The lightweight wooden furniture features a similar criss-crossing structure as building scaffolding and is fixed together with polished brass joints.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

Sanghyeok claims that scaffolding can be seen as a metaphor for a designer who, like himself, lives and who works in a foreign country. "Scaffolding is is always passed by, constructed and moved away without much attention, but is still a necessary element in construction sites," he said.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

The Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) project was first exhibited at Nomadismi at Gallery Altai, Milan earlier this year.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

Sanghyeok Lee studied at Design Academy Eindhoven and now runs his own studio in Berlin, Germany. His past projects include a table where closing one drawer causes another to shoot out at random, which won second prize at the [D3] Contest at imm cologne in 2012.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

Other furniture we've featured on Dezeen recently includes an expanding shelving unit by Stephanie Hornig that can bunch up or stretch out depending on available space, storage units made with textile skins by Meike Harde and furniture by Emiel Remmelts that require concrete blocks, bricks and magazine file boxes to prop up one end.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

See more shelving on Dezeen »
See our furniture archives »

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

Photography by Jaeuk Lee, courtesy of Lee Sanghyeok.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) by Lee Sanghyeok

  • Peter

    HABITAT product in the 60s? Now cheaper at IKEA?

  • Nick

    Lovely details, elegant proportions, great choice of materials. Nice job!

  • cuneese pignolo

    This lacks any poetic appeal, the polished brass choice dictated only by current fashions. An object striving to be a conceptual work of art, yet ruminatively following the rules of the establishment in terms of choice of materials can’t be taken seriously.

    Trying to charge it with a concept and an overly long title does not contribute to make it any more poetic, it rather sounds as an attempt to rescue something that would not have any interest per se, and in my opinion still hasn’t.

    I’m not criticising Mr Sanghyeok for his contribution, but pointing the finger to patrons and galleries that do not show any refinement in taste and most importantly intellectual depth and acumen.

    Dezeen included. As much as I understand its need to target a wide audience, there are people crafting out there and doing it well: in touch with their heart and brain.
    I think they may better deserve the spotlight, even if they haven’t graduated in Eindhoven.

  • Grant M


  • Angela Stefania Szavui

    Yesterday it was announced that he is the winner of Time to Design New talent award, so we can expect further developments regarding his projects.