Meet Everyware: Korea's Own Digital Media Magicians

Taking inspiration from the notion that truly refined technology is indistinguishable from magic, college sweethearts Hyunwoo Bang and Yunsil Heo (who studied under our very own Casey Reas), founded their creative computing studio Everyware in 2007. Soon after, both their father-in-laws and a cousin joined the team to help with the fabrication of their playful installations, making Everyware the first new media art group we’ve met to keep it all in the family.

Bang and Heo believe that the intimacy of working with loved ones is part of what makes their projects so successful—because they have fun making the work, their projects are often whimsical and lighthearted. They attempt to bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds by crafting experiences that engage all of the senses—touch, sight, sound and even smell (though not taste…yet). These tangible, corporeal qualities help make their work extremely intuitive and inviting. Although it’s high tech, it’s not the type of thing that requires a user manual, and when obscured by something warm and familiar, the technology doesn’t seem quite so alienating as it can often be.

We’ve already been wooed by Everyware’s Pink Cloud, a hanging canvas that becomes a virtual sky of watercolor clouds when touched by visitors. A new work the duo’s been developing, called The Wall, lets you indulge in a very real and relentless urge you’ll never quite grow out of—the desire to break things. Visitors throw balls at the projected “walls,” which virtually break apart, creating a satisfying shatter.

Everyware’s work amplifies the child in all of us. What other family do you know that makes a prototype for SMS-controlled paintball guns?