chiho cheon explores homelessness through concrete and cardboard furniture pieces

chiho cheon explores homelessness through concrete and cardboard furniture pieces

korean designer chiho cheon created a set of furniture pieces and matching artwork to express the notion of homelessness. the ‘criteria’ collection comprises two chairs and two hanging works that propose standards or literal criteria of the way people see homelessness. 




the designer delves into discovering what is the one-dimensional difference between homeless people and those who have a home. he believes that the single element of cement walls enclosing a space marks the difference between being homeless and not. he claims ‘cement walls are criteria for the ordinary’.




however, he explores the theme even further, questioning if there are varying degrees of homelessness. in this case, the designer proposes that for the homeless, ‘people who live in the box are homeless, and people who walk out of cardboard boxes have a home’. he argues how people experience the same social phenomenon by different standards and attempts to express this phenomenon through contrasting materials.




the designer uses corrugated cardboard and cement to produce his new collection, all in dark hues including black, grey and deep green elements. the rough textures and primitive shapes serve as a basic canvas to assess the homelessness boundary. the nature of the chosen materials is a polar opposite: concrete is heavy, sturdy and conveys permanence while cardboard is light, flimsy and disposable. the dichotomy of both materials further emphasizes the designer’s concept for his ‘criteria’.




designboom previously covered cheon’s benches exploring the materiality and relation between stone and metal.




project info:


project name: criteria

designer: chiho cheon

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