Beef 2012 by Seungho Lee

Posted on November 9, 2012 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

This blog post is long overdue... I told Seungho that I would write about his award-winning MA project after my Helsinki trip, but it has taken me all this time to get round to it!

I have been corresponding with Seungho from About:blank via emails since I started stocking their notebooks. Hence, it was wonderful when he suggested to meet for dinner when I was in Helsinki for the design week. Sometimes, it can be awkward having dinner with people who you have never met before ( even though my instinct was a positive one), and luckily, my instinct was right.

The evening went by almost too quickly, I spent an thoroughly enjoyable evening with Seungho and Hyunsun discussing design, Asian culture, Finland, vegetarianism, wastage and even politics ( we touched on many subjects that are usually 'banned' from dinner conversations)!


Seungho's project was on display at the Helsinki design week


It is always exciting to meet like-minded people, but even more so with designers or creatives who share the same design philosophy and ideals. To our surprise, we quit meat around the same time, yet we would face situations that are hard to get out of because of pressure from our families. I can't call myself a vegetarian because I still eat seafood, but for the last few years, I have chosen to stop purchasing or cooking meat at home.

An interesting part of our discussion was about the way people view "design", since many misunderstand design as only something tangible rather than an attitude, vision, process, activity or philosophy. Seungho's "Beef 2012" project for his Creative Sustainability master’s programme at Aalto University demonstrates that design can be beyond aesthetics and functionality.


Beef Finland 2012 (Finnish sub) from Seungho Lee on Vimeo.


Traditionally, designers are viewed as problem solvers whose job is to improve or influence people's lives through a means of communication. Yet as we have seen in the past two decades, the word "design" has been overused and now the market is full of "designer" products that are trend-driven and egocentric, of which many solve problems that are non-existent in the first place!

When we are faced with global crisis like climate change, shortage of natural resources, deforestation, over-consumption and wastage; we need more designers to think beyond pleasing themselves and take responsibility in their design attitude and thinking process.

As the economy in the West is shrinking, it is also a time for reflection and re-evaluation. Luckily, there are an increasing number of design firms, architects and designers ( like Ideo, Shigeru Ban and Seungho) who are trying to make a difference and create awareness to problems that need to be addressed immediately.



This post was posted in Food & dining, Finnish design, Eco living & sustainability, Social issues, Korean design, Designers & artists, Design, Videos & animations and was tagged with Food & dining, Helsinki, Finnish design, eco living