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A Distant Ligh 2014, aluminium, steel, LED, W 90 X D 7.5 X H 110 (meter), United Visual Artists / Selfridges and Co.

As an industrial designer in UVA -United Visual Artists-, I explored methods to create light manipulation with architectural scale object. Distance light installation has 58 louvres to emit the full bright light with LED strips (60 pitch per metre, 25mm spacing). Projected lights show the moving images -inspired by eclipse- from front side. I also focused on construction as well as considering install sequence. This project is also collaboration with engineering company “Packmanlucas” where is expertised in architectural installation.

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As an industrial designer, I was responsible to deal with every process from concept development with creative director to manufacturing and engineering phases. UVA / Artisan team are inspired by the phenomena of the lunar eclipse and aiming to present an installation that creates shifting patterns of light that evoke the changing phases of the moon for example, lunar eclipse.

In order to achieve our goal, For Test purpose as well as propose for client, I was prototyping the scale model that we can project changing phases. At the same time, I played with various types of RGB LED strip to check proper effect. Plus, actual installation is massive scale to be hold by front column of Selfridges department store in Central London, so that I was working with external engineers in order to create reliable structure with solidworks simulations and off-site observation..

The making of A Distant Light at Selfridges

Due to massive scale of installation, I had to consider some of engineering aspects including sequence of installation, breakdown points for transport, assembly, reduce of material and fabrication cost and research of existing parts that fabricator can apply for. Thanks to rectangular profile of aluminium –hollow-, I come up with solution how we can conceal cables and controller boxes as well as assembly method -middle connector inside of hollow shell-. With external engineers, I simulated deflection of louvres and frames. Every piece of elements is drawn by Solidworks for hand over to makers, and calculation of cost.

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E.M.S / Extreme Metal Spinning, 2014, polished aluminium, W 370 x D 350 x H 450, Show RCA 2014

Taehun Ko investigated on the metal spinning process, which is widely used for many domestic products. From single 330 mm diameter of aluminium disc, it can be transformed into a distinguishing part for construction of stool. Three identical parts were cut and welded together with certain angle in order to create ‘arch’ shape of the bottom structure. In result, E.M.S process creates super light and strong seat object.

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PLANE CHANDELIER, 2013, brass plated steel, glass, W 1056 X D 1056 X H 754, Tom Dixon Studio

At Tom Dixon Studio, we agreed to present new series of light using combination of several planes. I played with different shape and axis to create huge chandelier which is placed at commercial place. Its aesthetic is inspired by one of classic chandelier, wedding cake chandelier. Arrayed different number of light spheres are designed to reflect each other with brass-plated surfaces. It has same context and language with its family products.

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CLEAR, LOUD, BRIGHT, FORWARD, 2015, LED, acrylic, aluminium, W 320 x D 320 x H 300, for United Visual Artists

For the part of Palais Garnier- Paris opera-, United Visual Artists considered to create light interactive pendulum along with movements of dancers. This light bob part emits two different light and shade features in order to create various impression for the audiences. Array of led light projects top projection surface which is made out of acrylic. Down light is directional to make 2m bright spot for dancers. All LEDs are integrated in to machined aluminium heat-sink part.

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“United Visual Artists approach bridged the gap between architecture of the set, choreography and music and plays with the relationships between them. The intention was to create dynamic architecture that choreographs light and space and treats the space like a body – an entity that can move.

By turning the stage into a spatial instrument, a space that can dance, architecture becomes a performer alongside the dancers themselves. Areas of the stage are articulated in different ways, delineated by either real or projected light controlled through programming. In turn, the dancers also choreograph the space through their movements within it.”

–United Visual Artists, 2015, In order to create two different types of light, directional and projected light, Taehun Ko played with various LEDs and various size and shape of projection plates. Former prototypes had several problems that made the shades of central rod structure due to the central single light source.

To overcome it, we decided to place multiple LEDs array circular around the central structure. Also, distance between projection area and light source is crucial factor due to light leaking. After couple of times of experiments, as a result, the part of bob light could be designed to project articulated and proper multiple light effects at the same time.

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DIABOLIC, sepetir, W 550 x D 570 x H 840, Mobjec, BMH gallery

The values and the cultures of East and West are completely different. However, despite the differences, the common formativeness explicitly exists. Reinterpreted dreadful images of Demon or Gye-myeon sang (Asian goblin bust sculpture) grafted onto “Diabolic chair” with familiarity to maximize its details, the sense of both agility and chunkiness are tried. It shows sharp and transitional images of the figure.

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L.S.F.C / Lost Soft Foam Casting, cast aluminium, W 365 x D 330 x H 440, Show RCA 2014

Taehun Ko was inspired by “Evaporative-pattern casting” however, it requires and wastes materials to make objects. Thus he explored the way of solving problem as well as new aesthetics. I experimented with various types of soft foam sheeting and finally settled on using Plastazote LD18 and a small hand torch to heat weld the pattern ready for sacrificial casting. The softness of the foam together with the tailoring technique and heat-welded seams present a unique natural plump appearance. Each foam master is ready to be cast at the local foundry in only 15 minutes.

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CHEOM, 2011, ash, W 1300 x D 350 x H 1050, Mobjec, BMH gallery

Buildings are such existences that influences product or furniture designs. Orientalism was designed with minimal detail and two dimensional formative lines. A Kyung-Sang (one of small korean table) and the tip of eaves of Korean traditional temple motifs gave a compromising line. From the inspiration of traditional architecture feature, Cheom is re-interpreted into modern shape of design.

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SOBAHN, 2011, sepetir, mdf, W 900 x D 780 x H 370, Mobjec, BMH gallery

SoBahn, inspired from Korean traditional small portable tea table, placing importance on a curvature which reminds of a particular animal’s leg, finishes up with oriental details and colour. Such animal leg-like shape coexists inter-culturally between the Orient and the Western. Korean traditional small portable tea table gives an elegant and complex impression, whereas SoBahn reinterprets the old design in modern style featuring the traditional concise details and the elegant curve line.

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VERRINE, 2011, chrome plated steel, fabric, W 660 x D 520 x H 1950, Mobjec, BMH gallery

Thought inspired by “Origin of light”. A motif coming from a lighthouse emitting light in the middle of the building. By inspiration of light house emitting, Verrine light covers the top and bottom face with spun metal shade, so the light emits from centre of source. Ho-rong (Korean name), the base of a kerosene lamp, reinterpreted its figure with my own sense, Verrine floor lighting raises its value from the very existence.

Taehun Ko, born in South Korea, always has interests in design, philosophy, and humanities with genuine curiosities. One of the essential questions that he asked himself was “what is the world consisted of?” With such a thought, he suspected that things we see, use, and see are not perfect and believed that people do their best to make up for these imperfection. He himself also makes great effort to overcome his own imperfection through his profession and to broaden his outlook by sharing ideas with people in the different lines of study.

Tae hun Ko

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