Hak min Lee

Department: Contextual Design

Reveal and Conceal

Exploring Curiosity

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael,
but a lifetime to paint like a child”
a quotation from Pablo Picasso.

Why is an adult unable to imagine the world
like a child ? From a child’s perspective,
the world is full of mystery. The border
between reality and fantasy is not clear.
As they become adults, they develop their
own standards of judgment, prejudices and
stereotypes, whether they like it or not. This
is a growth process and it is not necessarily
a bad thing. But it’s true that our capacity
for boundless imagination becomes

What enables us to imagine freely and
think in a flexible way? I think it is curiosity and fantasy. My thesis is about exploring curiosity and fantasy, embedded in ways of hiding and showing. I think curiosity and fantasy enable us to to see ordinary things
from new viewpoints.

In this thesis, I documented a research
process from experiments to a design
proposal. In the translation process I
expressed various ideas and concepts
into drawings and models. Finally, I chose
the most interesting concept and gave it a
concrete form.
I observed various cases of the basic
human desire of displaying and hiding and
the combination between them. These
antithetical values produce interesting
combinations when they coexist and
conflict. The combination provokes curiosity
and mystery.

One thing in particular became clear to me.
If something is shown completely, or hidden
completely, there is no fantasy or mystery
anymore. The door which is half-opened
is always the most interesting, because it
leaves room for the viewer to imagine what’s
behind it.
Therefore, my work aims to leave room for
the viewers to imagine. I want to make an
object that reveals as well as conceals at
the same time, an object in which the desire
to show and the desire to hide co-exist.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Joost Govers