Jeonghwa Seo explores contrasts
with Material Container Series

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Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

South Korean designer Jeonghwa Seo has created a collection of stools and tables using 12 different materials in 15 different combinations (+ slideshow).

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

The low furniture pieces comprise a conical base topped with a flat disc-shaped container in one material with a contrasting material inside, sitting slightly proud to provide a seat or tabletop.



Pairings include basalt and rosewood, cherry and copper, and cork and aluminium. In total the collection uses two types of stone, five types of wood and three types of metal, as well as woven rush and acrylic.

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

"The Material Container series is focused on the texture of local crafts and unique material qualities," Jeonghwa Seo told Dezeen. "I selected materials that have a special tactility, and tried to find out which combinations of materials go well together."

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

"Creating a contrast between two materials is a good way to balance each material's qualities," the designer continued. "I also wanted to use materials that we see around us every day, but don't expect to be used for furniture."

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

Every piece in the collection is made in different way, by a different artisan, according to the materials used.

"Depending on the materiality of constituents I needed to find the right way to make it," said Seo. "For me it is like travelling to find new places."

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

The aluminium pieces in the collection were sand-cast with a variety of finishes. The wooden items were turned on a lathe, while the brass and copper was bent and welded.

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

The woven rush was made by Korean craftspeople, the basalt and granite was hand carved, and the acrylic was laser cut and dyed to achieve the different colours used.

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

"I want to make people think about the value of the normal materials that surround us," Seo said. "The material used in furniture design is like currency. Expensive furniture uses comparatively expensive materials and processes."

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

"The Material Container Series has a big price gap between the cheapest item and the most expensive, since the top can contain such a wide variety of materials," he added.

Material container by Jeonghwa Seo

Seo studied Fine Art, Metal Art and Design at Hongik University in Seoul and completed a Masters in Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 2010.

  • anna

    So nice to see beautiful materials celebrated in a simple way.