Seoul-based designer Youngmin Kang has launched his new collection, AFF (Art From Factory), which features a colourful array of furniture pieces. Upon discovering the large amount of waste that factories produce, Youngmin turned this waste into steel moulds, creating both functional and aesthetic designs. The AFF Collection merges two seemingly opposite industries, manufacturing and art, while contributing to environmental sustainability in the process.
Youngmin Kang, Image courtesy of Youngmin Kang
South Korea experienced a miraculous economic recovery in the 1960s after enduring the brutality of the Korean War ten years prior. Youngmin's native rapidly industrialised, and the once scorched earth was soon filled with modern manufacturing plants. This industralisation gave way to numerous businesses, such as the well-known electronics company Samsung. Today, the pioneer generations are beginning to pass their manufacturing businesses down to their successors, and the new generation looks towards art and design, incorporating both functional aesthetic and sustainability in their business. One company in particular, ARSCO, called upon Youngmin's talent for a creative solution to their waste.
AFF Stool, Image courtesy of Youngmin Kang
Factories are not usually associated with art, but Youngmin sought to uncover the artistic within the functional through the AFF Collection. His collection challenges this dichotomy of functionality and art, questioning their traditional definitions and the aesthetic values of the contemporary age in the process. The young designer has managed to create symbiotic relationship by upcycling the factory's waste and increasign demand for the factory's products.
"People have a miraculous yet instinctive ability to discover new values of things in harsh environments" - Youngmin Kang
AFF Chair, variations, Image courtesy of Youngmin Kang
Having been selected to present his works at Salone del Mobile and collaborating with renowned fashion brands Adidas and PH5, Youngmin has developed himself creatively and professionally in the design scene. He seeks wit from daily life and sees the beauty in mundane objects that are often overlooked, investigating the gray area between art and mass production. His designs are a product of the imagination that emerges in a hostile environment and his extensive material studies, which produce both wontedness and novelty seen in his works.
Learn more about Youngmin Kang on his Instagram: @young.min.k
Browse more design pieces on The Artling here
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