Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

Chiho Cheon creates colourful furniture collection from corrugated cardboard

South Korean designer Chiho Cheon was inspired by Seoul's homeless population to create this collection of furniture made from lacquered cardboard and cement.

Cheon said he developed the concept for the Criteria collection after witnessing homeless people using cardboard boxes for shelter at Seoul Station.

Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

The designer felt that people's status is often connected to the type of structure surrounding them, explaining that homelessness can be defined as the lack of a more conventionally built home.

"Cement walls are a criteria for the ordinary," said Cheon, suggesting that, "the people who live in cement walls are [considered] ordinary people, and the people who live outside cement walls are homeless."

Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

He added that the idea of what is normal depends on a person's circumstances, claiming that for homeless people the use of cardboard boxes for housing becomes as normal as concrete construction is for everyone else.

"People see the same phenomenon by different standards," said Cheon, who named the project after the different criteria or standards used to determine what is normal.

Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

The collection comprises nine pieces, including a shelving unit, chair and various low tables.

Each item is made using corrugated cardboard that was lacquered to stiffen it and then coated with cement to transform what was previously a delicate and light material into a solid and heavy structure.

Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

The furniture features rounded or wobbly edges, with surfaces that retain the cardboard's corrugations. The soft shapes and textural details emphasise the contrast between the fragile paper and the solid cement.

Cheon said he developed the shapes first before selecting colours that felt appropriate for each piece.

Several of the objects comprise two elements that are differentiated through the use of complementary colours.

Chiho Cheon Criteria collection

Savannah design studio Donttakethisthewrongway recently revealed an "over-engineered chair" that consists of a single cardboard box.

The chair is strong enough to hold the full weight of a grown man, due to its internal cardboard grid structure.

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Chiho Cheon Criteria collection
Chiho Cheon Criteria collection
Chiho Cheon Criteria collection
Chiho Cheon Criteria collection
Chiho Cheon Criteria collection