22 December 2021 News

The Netherlands and South Korea work together in ‘Living and working from home’

To mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between South Korea and the Netherlands, Dutch Design Week (DDW), Seoul Design Festival (SDF) and What if Lab are collaborating in the project ‘Living and working from home’. A few months ago, three Korean and three Dutch designers met each other digitally for the first time and were challenged to develop concepts for the new home office. The three international teams that were formed have been working together for the past few months on one of the following sub-themes: Workplace, Public/Private and Phygital, the physical results of which can be seen at DDW and SDF. Read below what the concepts turned out to be!

As a result of Covid-19, we suddenly had to work from home. For some, it is a very difficult situation, but others see advantages. The boundary between work and private life has become blurred, the way of communicating has changed. At the same time, working from home means less travel time and more freedom to organise the working day as you see fit.

This new situation leads to new insights into the way we work, a major change that will probably be permanent in its new form. What if we continue to work at home on a structural basis? New dynamics and challenges arise for which there are no ready-made solutions. Design plays an important role in creating an effective and pleasant working environment.

Sensorial Sanctuary

Studio Kontou en Dayoung Hwang present Sensorial Sactuary

For the subtheme Public/Private, Studio Kontou and Dayoung Hwang developed Sensorial Sanctuary. Sensorial Sanctuary is a space where you can work or relax and is based on the idea that our body needs different stimuli at different times of the day.

They have developed and put together six curtains with different acoustic and sensory qualities. These can be combined in different ways to create a suitable atmosphere for every situation. Whether you need deep focus and concentration. Or a moment of relaxation to recharge yourself. Or a stimulating and creative environment for online meetings and interaction. In addition, they created a modular desk that encourages different postures throughout the day and accommodates different cultural needs. And to enhance the desired atmosphere and activities, scents are used to activate or relax the user.

”We inspired each other, supported each other, and laughed a lot. I am proud of the installation we co-created, which resulted already in so many positive reactions from Dutch Design Week visitors.” – Justine Kontou


Studio Pesi and Studio Jeroen van Veluw present Tilt/Switch/Flip

For the subtheme Workplace, Studio Pesi and Jeroen van Veluw designed ‘Tilt/Switch/Flip’. One similarity between the two designers is that they combine emotion with the industrial production process. They bring this subject back to life in a collection of industrially produced designs that facilitate the transition between work and private life in one and the same space.

Focusing on the increasing world population, the growing number of single-person households and a shortage of living and working space, the designers created ‘Tilt/Switch/Flip’, a collection of three essential products that make it possible to switch easily between work and leisure in the same space. By literally tilting a desk, stool or lamp, you can be home and relaxing in no time. And the next morning you’re back at the office in no time.

”The most valuable aspect of the ‘Working and living from home’ project is the contact, the friendship and the different perspectives on design and life that have been established between the designers and between the Netherlands and South Korea. After  Seoul Design Festival, we plan to see what we want to do with the series. We have already expressed to each other to continue our cooperation.” – Jeroen van Veluw

Tidal Space

Hyunjung Kim en Cream on Chrome present Tidal Space

The lockdowns during the pandemic made it clear that both unpaid care tasks and paid work are inextricably linked in the home office. Many people were forced to navigate between different roles and expectations, both caring for their children from home and doing paid work at the same time.

Tidal Space is a collaboration between Hyunjung Kim and studio Cream on Chrome, combining their common interest in phygital interfaces with Hyunjung’s experience as a working parent.

Tidal Space experiments with curtains as spatial separations for different types of work. The curtains are activated by screen activity and adapt to different situations. From soundproof partitions for concentrated work to more flexible, translucent, open facades that allow children to be watched. And to interactive elements that allow children and parents to play.

”What I am most proud of in Tidal Space is that it is designed with both working parents and children in mind. Most of the existing designs for home offices focused only on working people. However, the home office that Tidal Space shows is a home where both parents and children enjoy working and spending time together.” – Hyunjung Kim 

These works were exhibited at Dutch Design Week 2021 last October and can now be seen at Seoul Design Festival from 22 December to 26 December. After this festival, the teams will continue their talks with Dutch and South Korean parties for further development.