2024.04.15 - 04.21
Solo show during Milan Design Week 2024
at Riviera
Milan, Italy

Curated by Simple Flair
Powered by Lapalma

The interest of the creative duo in wordplay through design comes from a curiosity in testing different materials and experimental approaches to production. Seoul, a city full of vitality and coexistence of diversity, breathes new imagination and stimulation into the daily conversations between the two designers. Located in the heart of Milan, Riviera presents <WORD PLAY: OBJECTS>, an exhibition by Seoul-based industrial design studio KUO DUO during Milan Design Week 2024. In commemoration of the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Korea, the exhibition also symbolizes design exchange, communication, and enhanced relationship between the two countries.

‘WORD PLAY’ is the synthesis of KD’s creative process of experimenting by matching the words of construction methods with various materials. What if they ‘weave’ the thick ‘plastic’? What if they literally ‘fire’ the firewood? How can materials be changed through different making processes? From these practice, the duo created a new design methodology called ‘WORD PLAY’, allowing them to look at materials from a wider perspective and try to produce them with a fresh approach. This unique and limitless method serves as a catalyst, continually propelling them to explore new ideas and acting as a conduit for one outcome to lead to another. Furthermore, while the outcomes of these experiments often become one-off works exhibited or sold in galleries, the design itself and typology often evolve into mass production projects, triggering the development of large-scale manufacturing processes.

Under their methodology, KUO DUO have designed various categories of products, ranging from large-scale furniture to smaller living objects. The exhibition, <WORD PLAY: OBJECTS>, being their first solo show in Milan, showcases a collection of selected works grouped into the category of ‘objects,’ reflecting the exploration of the practice over the past few years, along with unseen works presented specifically for this occasion. The names of the pieces intuitively reveal the concept and ideas. At the same time, the relationship between different materials with various techniques unfolds KD’S interpretations into products. Each work were developed and produced in collaboration with the local manufacturers and artisans in South Korea.