After graduating from London’s Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in 2011, Saehee Her shifted gears–and locales–and got a gig as a trend editor for a magazine in South Korea. As it turns out, reporting enhanced her worldview in a way that proved surprisingly beneficial to her own creative process. “This experience was a big step for me,” she tells Co.Design. “It provided deeper understanding of society, technology, things related to our lives–also things I couldn’t understand as a student. It was a really good foundation for me.”
During this time, another interesting source of inspiration surfaced: the culinary arts. “I think there are similarities between cooking foods and designing objects. In my opinion, a good dish is not just about taste–it contains the whole process of someone’s commitment, from the selection of ingredients, to the recipe, to the presentation,” Her says. Her new, Helsinki-based Cool Enough Studio, aims to express those sentiments through domestic accessories.
As such, simple, honest materials play a major role in Her’s debut collection. These are not over-the-top pieces designed to wow with flair; instead, each is meant to encourage a more thoughtful interaction. “I’m always interested in the shape of ordinary objects,” she says. “It is about simplicity, but in a more meaningful way.” Consider Relight, the geometric table fixture, with a triangular wooden base and an oversized milky white globe that rests gently on any flat surface, sans-shade. “I wanted to highlight that the bulb is actually beautiful, just as it is. When people use the lamp it can be adapted as part of the environment.”
Of the new items on offer, a cushion named Huhu might be the most representative of Her’s straightforward approach. Named for that satisfyingly deep exhalation when people allow themselves to sit back and relax, the cushion’s stuffing actually allows fidgety folks to further relax by redirecting their nervous tics inward: The latticed upholstery hides bits of string and pieces of cloth from the pillow’s interior, which can be pulled out and played with at random. Much better than nail biting, and a lovely connection between person and possession, material and purpose.