Originally published on Turnstylenews.com, an online information service powered by creative, culturally diverse young adults (18-34) serving as producers, reporters, writers, and engaged audiences.
By: Kai Hsing
Good things take time. There's been a growing interest in this country to rediscover how things were done the old-fashioned way and taking the time to do them is a big part of that - whether it's slow food, classic cocktails or handmade goods.
As an industrial designer, John Cho Moore felt a need to discover creative processes outside the confining structures of corporate design. Instead of remanufacturing or reconstituting materials to fit within a particular design, Cho Moore has found ways to have the natural characteristics of the materials help shape the design of his beautifully handmade bamboo and canvas bags.
Cho Moore finds inspiration in the craft styles of the Japanese Mingei tradition and the Shakers, an American religious sect from the 18th century well known for their contributions to craft and design. What's even more interesting is that both of these traditions have astounding parallels in their minimal yet functional designs, despite having developed independently of each other.
Both traditions use a material's preexisting qualities instead of trying to alter them. And every element of design serves a function - embodying both style and substance.
Take, for example, Cho Moore's use of bamboo, which he first developed as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design making furniture under the tutelage of Professor Robert O'Neal. The use of bamboo for the bag's interior frame not only presents a clean and simple design, but it's also an ideal material for such a purpose, given the material's lightweight strength and sustainability.
For Cho Moore, it's about a new kind of "sustainability" that goes beyond products that use environmentally friendly materials. His work is meant to last not only because of its durability, but also because of its timeless aesthetic. It's this awareness of a product's place in the world and its origins that makes Cho Moore's design philosophy and process so refreshing and intriguing to watch.
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