We are very happy to introduce to you Kang Chang Youn and Lee Sil Gi from Zeup Design Studio. buyMeDesign had a lovely little chat with the creative duo about their story, the influences behind their designs, and their iconic product, the pooleaf.
How did you get into designing together?
We met each other three years ago, when we were both students majoring in design. Since then, we made plans for the studio and the studio was founded in 2010. Now we run it together.
From the beginning, we wanted to do something different from existing products and create something that is both convenient and fun. We aren’t aiming to invent something incredible. We are usually inspired by nature and also our daily lives. We have talked a lot about these matters and share ideas and sketches. And then, we move on to the real process of product design. That’s how it goes.
We’re really happy to have your iconic Pooleaf on our platform; could you tell us a bit more about the piece?
We are happy to present the POOLEAF, too. Many people wonder what ‘POOLEAF’ means. The Korean people perhaps understand how the product has that name when they see the products and the name at the same time. POOLEAF is ‘a blade of grass’ in Korean. In fact, when you pronounce the Korean word, that is [pu:lip]. We changed the spelling of it. Surprisingly, it is no big deal with confusing ‘[f]’ and ‘[p]’ in Korean. From that thought, it also has another meaning: ‘Fool-leaf = fake leaf’.
How would you explain Zeup Studio’s designs? What tags could be used to best describe your style?
Actually, the keywords of our design style depend on what people think about us, but if we had to pick, the tags would be ‘Easy, Emotional, and Natural.’
It seems nature and oriental life are a big influence on your work. Why?
We don’t really think “Let’s make oriental products!” But everyone says our products are this way. We don’t just want to create good looking products, we want to create ‘a story’ into a series of our products, and the stories come from us. I think that is why our products have an oriental style.
There are a lot of “oriental thing” sources. Traditional patterns, colors, folktales of Korea, and so forth. We apply them to our design. It is fun!
Your designs mix practicality with quirkiness. What is more important for you; that a design performs a function, or makes people smile?
Both of them are important to us, of course. It is too hard to pick, really! We want to make the products a little bit more interesting, though. This matter depends on how we want to design.
What’s next for you and what do you hope your designs can ultimately achieve?
As we described above, we are going to keep designing fun products those we need or want in our daily life. We don’t want to limit the fields of products. The next item will be kitchenware. I think it is going to be released this winter, here on “buymedesign.com”!