Happiness For Daily Life

I was commissioned by the British Council as 'lead artist' on the first ever culture-led regeneration project in Gonju City, South Korea. Working closely with a fantastic team of people in the UK and Korea (the project and partners in Korea were directed by the British Council Seoul office's amazing Yoonjoe Park, who somehow managed to juggle and manage all complexities.)
Within Gonju City's regeneration team was Mr. Park (no relation - Park is one of the most common surnames in Korea.), who's enthusiasm for the project led to a conversation which gave birth to the project title, Happiness For Daily Life.
Thanks to Mr. Park, we have managed to describe so succinctly, the bulk of the aims of the project and also the most critical philosophies of design and life, which have driven the treatment of the building and the project as a whole.
My role on this project was kind of more like an interior architect and project facilitator, in that I directed the re-modelling and treatment of the building. I also designed a table, but it’s main function beyond supporting coffee cups, was to show off the work of students of traditional Korean craft from NUTC. Similarly, I designed a lamp shade, which was really just a support for some silk fabric which Anthony Burrill was going to design. Aside from these pieces of furniture and fittings, the seating, i.e, we sourced from the local market, a fantastic super-cheap everyday plastic stool, seen all over Korea. One of those universal objects which does its job so incredibly well, it is hard to frame a photo of Korean life, indoors or out without one being in shot. It inevitably proved the perfect choice for coffee and a cake in the Happiness For Daily Life café.