tom
😇

tom

Industrial Designer in Canada / The Netherlands

Partial Sabbatical

3 years ago

About

B. 1990 in Vancouver BC, Tom Chung is an independent industrial designer who established his eponymous studio in 2016. His work is defined by a context driven approach that is grounded in production methods and contemporary culture. The studio works with international brands to develop industrial design pieces for domestic, institutional and public environments.

In parallel, he is the founder and director of Surplus; a spatial design practice and object catalog focusing on custom design for the luxury, retail and cultural sectors. He is based between Canada and The Netherlands.

Works With
Muuto, Petite Friture, Audo, EQ3, Umbra, Part & Whole, MOCA Toronto, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Erin Stump Projects, Stimulerings Fonds, Banff Centre, UQAM.

Seen In
Wallpaper, Disegno, Surface, Ignant, Azure, Designlines, Metropolis, Hypebeast.

Studio
Industrieweg 155
3044 AS Rotterdam
Netherlands

Projects

2024
Plank Office at EQ3

Desk with optional privacy screen and rolling cart.

2024
Plank Sideboards at EQ3

Modular storage with slats or custom fabric.

Visualizations by Tom Chung.
Photography by EQ3.
Produced by EQ3.

2024
Fromme Tables at Petite Friture

Fromme Table series made from extruded aluminum and 6mm aluminum plate. The table works indoors and out and is finished with a UV resistant powder coated treatment.

Photography by Petite Friture.
Produced by Petite Friture.

2024
Storage Module at Work in Progress

Storage system with universal panel and connector.

Free to Edition.
Visualization and Photography by Tom Chung.

2024
Arita Lamp at Work in Progress

A family of lamps developed in Amakusa porcelain in Arita, JP.

Under Development.

2023
Fromme Wood at Petite Friture

Wood and upholstered versions of the Fromme chair for indoor use.

Photography by Petite Friture.
Produced by Petite Friture.

2023
Stacking Planter at Work in Progress

Ceramic planter inspired by brutalist architecture. Prototype under development.

Free to Edition.
Visualization and Photography by Tom Chung.

2022
Plank Wall at EQ3

Wall mounted versions of the Plank series.

Visualizations by Tom Chung.
Produced by EQ3.

2022
Piton at Muuto

Piton is a smart lamp which takes its name from the climbing apparatus. Similarly, the lamp may be combined with other tools, such as rope, hooks, clips or straps, to be rigged in various positions. An LED light source and acrylic diffuser allow a focused direct spotlight as well as ambient indirect lighting depending on the orientation. A steel counterweight in the handle lets the lamp rest in a multitude of sturdy positions, while a rechargeable USB power source maintains mobility.

Photography by Muuto and Tom Chung.
Produced by Muuto.

2021
Fromme + at Petite Friture

The original Fromme cafe chair was designed using a custom extrusion and die cast end-cap construction. Each piece in this collection of share the same extrusion and end-cap components, forming the structural X base.

The full range has been extended to include a lounge chair, stool, bar stool, and a range of tables. Each seat is stackable and uses the same suspension seat detail as the original chair.

Photography by Petite Friture
Produced by Petite Friture

2021
50 Shelves at MOCA Toronto

Chung's 50 Shelves (Study for MOCA) is a conceptual structure that embraces simple lines, modularity, locally-sourced manufacturing, and shared economies. Fifty identical aluminium units comprise the entirety of the Museum’s retail space. In this context, they’re also a display structure for the museum shop's offerings. Each unit is available for purchase at the exact cost of production. As a result, the structure serves as a diagram for the often neglected side of exhibition making; production budgets, sustainability and ownership. As each unit is acquired, the shop depletes, inspiring new configurations as the exhibition unfolds. This latest vision renews the designer’s commitment to local industries, manufacturing knowledge, and democratic design.

Each piece, engraved and hand numbered, will be for sale for $250 with 80% of the sale going back to the community by way of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, the remaining 20% will cover administrative costs for the project at the museum.

Manufactured by Baumeier Corporation in Cambridge, Ontario.
Text by Rui Mateus Amaral
Curated by November Paynter, Daisy Desrosiers and Rui Mateus Amaral
Accompanied by a publication designed by Blok Design and a second edition of Local Source.
Images by Toni Hafkenscheid Courtesy of MOCA Toronto. Additional images by Blok Design.
Commissioned for the Triennale; Greater Toronto Art 2021, Museum of Contemporary art Toronto, September 29 2021 - January 9 2022.

2020
Fromme at Petite Friture

Fromme is a versatile cafe chair which borrows from the materials and principals of early 90’s mountain biking.

The chair has been engineered to use as little material as possible. The construction uses a mix of custom extruded and cast components to form a laser welded structure. The design of the back and seat rest do not use compound curves which allow minimal tooling. The seat is attached to the frame with no visible fasteners and use rubber polymer suspension in order to provide a tilt responsive seat. The suspension joints create a soft ergonomic seat despite its rigid material. Due to the chairs construction details the legs are able to be extremely thin while passing strength testing for contract use. The small size and minimal material combines for a total weight of just 4kg, stacking up to 6 high and is rated to be used indoors and outdoors.

Photography by Tom Chung & Petite Friture
Produced by Petite Friture

2020
Gasket Vase at Erin Stump Projects

A series of modular rings determined by standard ANSI pipe gasket sizes. The rings thread together to make variable height vases with a water tight seal.

Made for the show Aluminum Group at Erin Stump Projects.

Photos by Mike Tijoe.

2019
3D Plotted Ceramics at Emily Carr University

This project was born out of reading Philip Rawson’s book ‘Ceramics’ with a foreword by Wayne Higby.

One passage from the foreword which stood out to me was his description of ceramics and its relationship to daily life, and technology; ‘This intimate connection with a potent aspect of daily life and experience is what gives ceramics its particular aesthetic interest. Even though pottery must be based on a technology of some kind, if it is good pottery it always eludes the tyranny of its technology.’

My interest in ceramics developed during my residency at the Banff Centre, where planned production processes gave way to an intuitive material approach more attuned to painting or drawing, while still deeply rooted in functionality and technology.

What I aimed to complete over the course of the 4 week material matters residency is work with the clay printer, using this quote as a starting point.

I wanted to use the clay printer unconventionally, to create elements which could then be joined or manipulated by hand. The introduction of the hand with the use of a jig is an established form of pottery, from slip casting to hand building, the use of structural aid has been widely accepted as a valid form of craft. In using methods that introduce an element of hand work and deformation, I wanted to explore the potential of the 3D clay plotter as a tool that is sympathetic to the innate qualities to pottery.

The following objects have all been created by 3D plotting slabs flat onto drywall from files first designed in CAD. The timing of each slab is quite important to be able to join the slabs while still leather hard. Due to the fragile and thin lines of the plots, the slabs dry out very fast which makes timing all the trickier. Once joined with slip the ‘vessels’ have been individually hand glazed, with a brush or through dipping, in order to embellish the patterns made by the printer nozzle. Marks made by hand and machine are working cohesively in order to create a curious series of objects that rely on both.

Made in Residence at Emily Carr University.
Technical Support by Andrew Drakeford, Daniel Garrord, Logan Mohr & Darlene Nairne.
Photography by Conrad Brown.

2019
Plank at EQ3

Plank is a furniture system for Canadian furniture manufacturer EQ3. The program demanded a series of closed storage functions with a shared universal door that could be made in a variety of materials using little to no tools for assembly.

The result is a group of asymmetrical volumes with two sizes of small and large sliding door panels which define the heights of each box.

The system takes advantage of EQ3’s top down production and retail model, allowing a variety of fabrics as well as wood slat doors which are sold separately from the cabinets.

Photography by EQ3
Produced by EQ3

2019
Cast Sconce at Audo

A small and sturdy wall lamp which extends the Cast Pendant series for Audo.

Produced by Audo.
Designed with Jordan Murphy.
Photography by Audo.

2018
Beam at Muuto

Beam is a table lamp which creates a new gesture for manipulating light. The lamp has a double ended head with an LED chip at both ends. Proprietary software allows the user to switch the light from one light head to the other through turning a 2 way dimmer switch. The percentage of light intensity is always the inverse of the other which creates the effect of a beam of light transferring through the light head.

Photography by Muuto & Lauren Kolyn
Produced by Muuto

2018
Hover at Umbra

Hover is a contemporary take on the mechanics stool. Designed for co-working spaces or cafe’s where one might need personal short term storage space.

The tray provides a surface for your bag, without having to place it on the floor or hanger. Wheels add mobility to comfortably shift in place. The entire assembly is knock down and easily slotted together.

At home, the stool may be used as a side table, extra seat, or storage cart.

Produced by Umbra Shift.
Photography by Tom Chung.

2017
Modular Vase at Prototype

Modular and flat pack vase designed to display individual flowers in groupings. Loosely inspired by molecular structures, the vase has infinite configurations.

Photography by Tom Chung & Anh Dao.

2017
Cast Pendants at Audo

Cast Pendants take inspiration from the traditional plumb weight — a weight hanging from a line used by masons and carpenters since Ancient Egypt to establish a true vertical. An honest light, the cast aluminum bodies are designed to be used as single pendants or in cluster configurations.

The use of LED technology allows for a surprisingly small scale, each light only measures 10-13cm tall. The collection suits both commercial and residential use. The lamp is available in three variations, and a splitter allows for a variety of configurations.

Produced by Audo.
Designed with Jordan Murphy.
Photography by Audo.

2017
Spun Light at Prototype

Lights spun and laser cut in Ontario from 16 gauge steel in powder coated or plated metal finishes.

Photography by Anh Dao & Tom Chung.

2017
Laser Cut Stool at Prototype

Not dissimilar to a stool one might see in night markets and sidewalk restaurants. Made from a single piece of galvanized sheet steel, laser cut, folded, and bolted together. The stool is the result of utilitarian simplicity. The stools stack for storage and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Photography by Anh Dao & Tom Chung.

Education

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Teams

Current
surplus