‘Design is everywhere, all around us’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Sept 21, 2012 - 21:12
  • Updated : Jun 11, 2014 - 14:52
Herald Design Forum lays ground for addressing design competitiveness

Design has set roots in every area of our lives with people getting more emotionally involved in brands and designs, experts said on Friday during the second annual Herald Design Forum.

The event posed the question: “How far could design reach into our lives?” to the thousands in attendance during the three-day forum.

From architectural design, industrial design and design management to conceptual design in films and advertisement, the forum inspired designers of all generations and those in various industries in search of creativity.

With a lack of design-related fora in Korea, world-class experts also said the forum was an opportunity for them to see the potential for innovation from participants.
Top designer Chris Bangle (left), who has served as BMW design chief, takes part in a special session with Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong during the second annual Herald Design Forum in Seoul on Friday.
(Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

“I’m inspired by what I heard here, particularly by the young people,” said Chris Bangle, managing director at Chris Bangle Associates, who is a major figure in the car design world. “The energy that young people have in Korean design is absolutely enviable. The rest of the world should see how energized you guys are about design.”

He further elaborated that the forum has built the ground for improving design competitiveness in a country which already has many talented designers.

“(The forum) is making Koreans aware that they don’t have to look outside their borders to look for good designers because they have designers right here.”

Another key speaker, Bruce Duckworth, co-head of brand design agency Turner Duckworth, said that he was able to see changes in Korea from five years ago when he last visited Korea. He observed that people are now more open to design and branding.

“I think there has been a change because everybody is interested in design and they could see it’s a part of successful business,” said Duckworth. “(Koreans) have ambitions to do things and if they want to become a leader in design, they will manage that.”

With the speakers expressing their excitement about the future of design here, a number of participants also said the series of talks on the importance of design has given them insight into the topic.

“Not only was it great to listen to the thoughts of big-time design gurus, I realized that their levels of philosophy and thinking are certainly different,” said So Il-seop, a research engineer at LG Electronics’ corporate design center.

He said he was deeply impacted by Muji art director Kenya Hara’s philosophies ― such as minimalism ― on the design of the Japanese retail giant and Bangle’s take on the direction of design.

A special session and two speeches were given by concept artist Steve Jung and Duckworth on the forum’s final day.

Big Ant International’s chief Park Seo-won and Bangle also staged the final special session, presided by Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong.

Ad wiz Park told the participants what inspired him to jump into the advertisement industry and Bangle talked about the changing role of design ― from making improvements in the world to empowering it.

However, Bangle, as well as Duckworth, said that surprises and twists must be found in design. Duckworth added that ideas, originality and execution are also important factors to consider.

“Good design changes the world for the better,” he said. “There is an emotional connection to a good design. It’s our responsibility as designers to make this happen.”

Steve Jung, a concept illustrator who has participated in many Hollywood blockbusters, said uniqueness should be valued in design.

“What could be called a sensational design is when you take out the repetition and write in the positives in an empty negative space,” he said. “It could be the factor for excitement when you draw a line in a space that is left empty.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (