There are too many Julie Kims around so I decided I needed a new name.

I now go by PLIC Design.

As an experiment, a friend suggested that I place the Hammock Coffee Table on a bustling sidewalk and film the results from a “spycam”. We shot some footage at the intersection of Vermont and 6th Street in Koreatown, LA. Watch the video to see what happens when a coffee table appears mysteriously on a street corner. The video seeks to challenge the perception that no one walks or uses public transit in Los Angeles, while also romanticizing a sometimes forgotten corner in the City.


Filmed by …… Danny Kim
Edited by …… Julie Kim
Featuring …… Quynh’s legs
and ………… Jimin’s torso
Also starring… Los Angeles

Location ……. Koreatown bus stop
Soundtrack …. “Tighten up” on the Dusty Fingers compilation

My friend Aiha commissioned me to design and build a coffee table for her. Designing a coffee table is daunting; it is a furniture typology that’s been executed successfully thousands of times before. Luckily, Aiha helped me establish constraints early on. She saw a few 3D models and selected this one with a glass top floating above a hammock bed:

As usual, the driving force behind the design was economy and function. I wanted to use quality wood sparingly to keep costs low and also minimize intrusion into a small living room. I also thought extra storage beneath the table top surface was critical for holding everyday objects. I hoped to experiment with the massaging wood beads you find on car seats but got overwhelmed by escalating material costs; the glass alone was over $70! After settling on using cotton cord for the hammock, I spotted an image of a vintage wool loom from which I stole some details.







I took the completed coffee table for a spin around Koreatown yesterday. See below for the results. I realized only after the photo shoot that the model and table shared something in common – nice criss-crossed legs! We also shot some footage with a spycam in front of the County building at Vermont and 6th Street. Watch the video to discover what happens when a coffee table intrudes into the public realm.

Many thanks to Danny, Quynh and Jimin for helping out with the photo shoot, Knowhow Shop for guidance, Leilani for scheming, and Aiha for commissioning!

I learned about the dearth of accessories that organize guitar cases from my client. Apparently guitar holders are plentiful, but guitar CASE holders are a rare find. An avid classical guitarist, she now owns a collection of six guitars (left image). Based on her criteria, I designed a mobile guitar crib to house the six homeless guitars. A rendering of the first version is on the right. My goal was to engineer a design that required as little wood as possible after deciding that my previous project used too much material unnecessarily.

   Constructing the main housing was straightforward enough. I hoped to also fabricate a flexible “partition” to keep guitars in place. After some research, I stumbled on this beautiful rocking chair designed by Alexey Brodovitch, the 3rd place winner of a 1948 low-cost furniture design competition.

The detail of the rope being sewn through the wood like fabric inspired me to try the same. A view of my finished empty guitar crib below:

I chickened out on color because of the high quality of the wood (I used leftover pieces of the birch and walnut plywood). A side view:

The back view:

For the past two years, I’ve shared a 600 s.f. studio apartment with my husband. I placed “build a wall between the living room and bedroom” on my to-do list as soon as I moved in. This project has been gestating in my mind since then, taking on different forms in countless iterations (see some of my renderings below). For my own sanity, I put the pencil down and started building.

First step: figure out where to learn woodworking and find a shop open to the public in Los Angeles. I called up my architect buddy Jonathan who referred me to Knowhow Shop, a new fabrication cooperative in Highland Park. Without their expertise and access to their woodshop, I would probably still be designing and redesigning into the next decade. I purchased my walnut plywood and europly birch plywood at Anderson Plywood in Culver City and my acrylic at Gavrieli Plastics in Burbank. One minor setback involved a windshield that cracked en route to the shop from Culver City – what a drag.

Under guidance from the nice folks at Knowhow Shop, I built my shelf using biscuit joints over the next few weeks.

Afterwards, my husband and mom helped out during a ten hour installation marathon. We were probably extra cautious about structural stability because of the quake in Japan.

Before the installation:

After the installation:

Because of the lack of space, each square inch in our apartment is packed with an efficiency and utility rare in a city like Los Angeles. In addition to providing a visual and physical barrier between our bedroom and living room, the unit replaces a couple of shelves, a side table, an overhead pendant light, and a headboard. It also acknowledges a need for shared space through an open top shelf and punctures in the shelving.


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