Industrial design studio GIHAWOO is comprised of best friends Woo Giha, the product designer, and Ethan Lee, the marketing director. Together, they create a vision of contemporary living that is simultaneously attractive and functional.
Based in South Korea, the principle behind GIHAWOO lies in their strict adherence to the notion of the ‘archetype’, and loyalty to the essence and basic utility of products. It is through the enhancement and adaption of preexisting concepts that their designs shine through.
For instance, one of their products titled ‘Front and Back’ is a wall clock that has the batteries installed on the front of the clock instead of at the back. The rotating battery compartments serve as the hands of the clock. This minimalist treatment condenses the essence of the product to what it fundamentally needs—batteries to run and hands to tell time.
In another, a street lamp design commissioned by the Gangnam District Office to be installed along the Yanjae River, the ordinary straight pole of the lamp is reimagined into the bark and branches of a tree through use of curvature and a split design at the top leading towards the lamp. This helps create a more and harmonized undisturbed atmosphere of nature as the lamp assimilates into its surroundings. Yet, the design remains simple and most importantly, functional.
Having received his degree in industrial design from Han-yang University in 2005, Woo Giha worked in design consulting firm INNODESIGN with internal and external clients for five years before starting his own firm. Despite being relatively new on the scene, he has garnered numerous awards and has been featured in exhibitions all around the world, including the recent 100% Design London exhibit held as part of London Design Festival.