Dark smoked oak and polished brass detailing in Useful Living furniture

Useful Living / Arbeitsloser Minimalist Wood Furniture by Sanghyeok Lee

Useful Living Chair Modelled on Scaffolding

These marvellously minimalistic furniture pieces are the work of Sanghyeok Lee, a Korean designer who explores the ways in which we interact with and relate to our furniture. In the past we’ve seen his project ‘Listen To Your Hands’, a complex desk with an array of draws which can open at random when another is closed carelessly.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) Desk by Sangeok Lee

Dark smoked oak and polished brass detailing in Useful Living furniture

‘Useful Living’ is certainly a much more practical design (as it’s name would suggest) and balances aesthetics with utilitarianism perfectly. It is the second iteration of the ‘Useful Arbeitsloser’ series, that saw Sanghyeok Lee design several furniture pieces (2 tables and 2 shelves) loosely modelled on scaffolding. He saw similarities between these essential but often overlooked structures, and his life as a recently graduated but unemployed designer.

Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless) Maple Shelf Framework

Minimalist Shelf Inspired by Scaffolding

“Scaffolding structures are moved around the city where they are needed. They live a rather unstable life, but they are of great importance where they are used. To me that was very similar to my own situation as a newly graduated jobless designer.”

– Sanghyeok Lee

Useful Living Shelf in Smoked Oak Wood

Maple wood and brass joints in Useful Arbeisloser desk

The original ‘Useful Arbeitsloser (Jobless)’ objects were composed of light European maple wood dowels and panels accompanied by polished brass bolts, while the second ‘Useful Living’ series replaced maple for a darker smoked oak wood. This second series features a chair, a rack and a shelf and won Sanghyeok Lee the Time to Design award of 2013.

Sangheok Lee sitting in Useful Chair

Polished brass joints in Useful Living Furniture by Sangheok Lee

Light Maple Wood in minimalist furniture by Sangheok Lee

Designer: Sangheok Lee

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