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Gwangjang Bench (Works)


A wooden domestic bench with a removable quilted cover designed after observing wooden benches with insulated electric blankets in use in Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea.

The solid walnut bench refines traditional bench typologies introducing gently angled legs, uniform 3/4″ thick planks and a book-matched top. The end-grain of the bench’s spine creates a graphic detail on each end and the chamfered corners soften the rectilinear top. Assembled with glue and dominoes the bench is light yet strong (it easily held the weight of 4 men in an informal strength test).

Referencing the silver insulating material used to cover benches in Gwangjang market, 3M Scotchlite was chosen for the quilted cover. Embedded magnets allow each end to be easily opened and closed. The material’s ability to absorb and reflect light in unusual ways gives the bench an enigmatic quality in different lighting conditions, and flash photography creates a surprising contrast.