In an age of over consumption and dwindling natural resources, designers in the UK are questioning their role and their relationship to society. There is an increasing emphasis on creative use and the preservation of resources, rather than an urge to create the new. Happiness for Daily Life represents this new sensibility. Four UK designers undertook residencies at the National University of Cultural Heritage (NUCH), during April and May 2010, to create a series of design commissions. Each of the designers has responded to their surroundings in Buyeo and Gongju in ways that involve the use, repair or representation of local resources. This result will engage new audiences and participants in this methodology of resourceful design. The Happiness for Daily Life café presents a distinctive quality of place, a design which is truly unique to Gongju.
At The National University of Cultural Heritage, I worked in the ceramics department for one month learning raku firing methods and different glaze application techniques. Within this period I worked with students and staff to better understand the traditions of South Korean craft practice. In addition to creating ceramic platters I also made ‘topsy turvy cups’ where one side was shallow for tea and the other deep for Korean coffee. To make the various serving implements I worked in Seoul with a wood carver to create the various handles.