Weonrhee’s Primitive Structures Resemble Functional Dolmen
Designer Weonrhee, also known as Jongwon Lee, has released a new sustainable project with a focus on the material that’s based upon his own cultural and historical background and the material’s origin story. Primitive Structures, is a series of small tables and stools that resemble “dolmen,” or a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone. Over time, moss grows to cover these structures. One piece of research cites South Korea as having 70% of the world’s dolmen, and so it became the overall architectural motif used throughout by Weonrhee.
Sustainability was of particular importance to Weonrhee throughout the project. PSL is a down-cycled material, meaning it’s recycled in such a way that the resulting product is of a lower value than the original item. It’s part of a family of structural composite lumber (SCL) made using dried and graded wood veneers. Strands or flakes are layered upon one another before being bonded together with a moisture-resistant adhesive. The resulting material evokes a primitive feeling through its texture and pattern.
The engineered wood beams used to create Primitive Structures employ waste materials from plywood and LVL production, and commonly include Douglas-fir, pine, and western hemlock among others. PSL is also commonly used in architecture frames, carrying the architectural motif further throughout the project. By using PSL, Weonrhee in turn created a valuable object through what was initially considered garbage.
PSL turned out to be perfect for creating the polygonal shapes that mimick dolmen. During the manufacturing process, the material develops divots in its surface, but the designer had a solution to achieve “visual completeness” and safety – by repeatedly placing fallen pieces of PSL back into these holes over and over again, until only a smooth surface remains.
The final step is adding color. “In terms of color, I was inspired by the moss on the surface of the dolmen. The moss on the surface of the stone was formed over a long period of time and had pearl and parakeet green colors, and this part also showed [as] primitive,” Weonrhee said.
To learn more about Primitive Structures, visit weonrhee.com.