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oneseo Choi on Environmentally Conscious & Sustainable Design


oneseo Choi on Environmentally Conscious & Sustainable Design
Image courtesy of oneseo Choi

oneseo Choi is a rising South Korean based designer and artist who specializes in manufacturing furniture and design objects. Fundamental in his practice, is his unique approach and use of materials which is highly experimental and process-based in its nature. Environmentally conscious in his practice, oneseo is primarily interested in using industrial materials that are often unwanted and discarded. Whether it is plastic, metal, cardboard, or concrete, oneseo breathes new life into his chosen material, seeking to showcase the very essence and beauty of the medium with his distinctive innovative flair.

This week, the Artling had the wonderful opportunity to speak with oneseo to learn more about his design process, and to better understand why sustainable approaches have greatly influenced his practice. 

Pattern of Industry_PF60-Bench - oneseo Choi (Available on The Artling)

Can you tell us about your design practice and how your business began?

When I was a child, I enjoyed making and using tools and toys. This interest from a young age inspired me to become a designer. I majored in industrial design at Hanyang University in Korea and started my design work.

The start of my business was natural. After being awarded the ‘Living Object’ winner at Creators’ Ground, Korea, I was invited to exhibit my work which gave me a lot of exposure and press. As a result, I gained clients who purchased my work or commissioned new projects from me.


You have experimented and worked with a number of unconventional materials in previous projects, including: CAVE, BOXTOOL, and TRACE. Why did you decide to focus on aluminium profiles in your Pattern of Industry series?

A large part of my practice pays attention to materials that are typically thrown away. In this industry, numerous products have been created and simply abandoned due to functional and market competition. As a designer, I believe it is my responsibility to take these environmental factors into consideration. This is why I focus on materials that would normally be discarded. Since aluminum is a 100% recyclable material, I wanted to try it. While looking for aluminum, I came across an aluminum profile and was fascinated by the cross-section patterns. After that, I studied various specifications, and combined them to create a new pattern.

I think it’s important to think about how we can use existing materials more ethically and sustainably before creating new ones.


CAVE STOOL - oneseo Choi

What other materials are you interested in exploring in your work?

Plastics that have been thrown away on a large industrial scale really interest me as a material. I am looking to create new art pieces by incorporating this with 3D printing and the use of recycled filament.


What obstacles, if any, were there in the design process for your Pattern of Industry series? Do you plan to develop this series?

It is rare to combine aluminum profiles horizontally, so it was a process trying to figure out how to do this. Additionally, the cross-sections of aluminum profiles are very sharp and dangerous, so every edge must be grinded down. Since the pattern of the cross-section is quite complicated, I have to grind each aluminum profile by hand and this can be very difficult.

Currently, the Pattern of Industry series is under development. I’m doing some research on modeling so the structural beauty of my designs can stand out. I am also planning to try new colors through the process of anodizing.


Pattern of Industry_PF60-Stool 1 - oneseo Choi (Available on The Artling)

Are you working on any special new designs or projects at the moment?

I am planning a new art piece under the theme of “Anthropocene”. I would like to explore and showcase the impact of human technological civilization on Earth.


What inspires you and your work? Is there a specific designer that has inspired you?

Since I live in a city, I am inspired by the materials and modern buildings that are seen in the city.

The designers who have inspired me are Le Corbusier and the Memphis Group. The two have completely opposing styles, however, they both grasped a specific moment in time that was extremely innovative during that period. For example, Le Corbusier’s Five Principles of Modern Architecture, and the Memphis Groups’ post-modern movement led to a different and more diversified way of living.



Pattern of Industry_PF60-Side Table - oneseo Choi


Pattern of Industry_PF60-Stool 2 - oneseo Choi

If you could collaborate with any designer in the future, who would that person be?

Most recently, I’ve been interested in the work of Neri Oxman. Her works are heading in a great direction for environmentally conscious design.


What is your favourite design piece from your archive?

I like the Pattern of Industry series the most. Among them, PF50_STANDLAMP is my favorite. I find it beautiful that it always shines brightly in my room.


PF50_STAND LAMP - oneseo Choi

You have exhibited at many design fairs and festivals, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?

The exhibition held at ‘meeseek’, a Korean teahouse and gallery, was the most rewarding experience for me. This is a space where you can sit on the artwork itself and drink tea. It is a very rare and unique experience in that you can experience the artwork yourself rather than just viewing it. I am also happy to have maintained a good relationship with the other designers who also participated in the exhibition.


What do you envisage for the future of furniture design?

I think design and art were quite clearly divided. The reason for this is because in the past design has been valued for its efficiency and functionality. But recently, furniture designers have seen the boundary between the field of design and art break down as they experiment and try new things. I think that furniture design should gradually develop into an art close to everyday life, and be simultaneously functional as well as artistic.


Click here to take a look at more works by oneseo Choi

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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