The Herald Design Week, the Korea’s largest and most active forum for design, kicks off a five-day run in Seoul that brings together the world’s top designers and innovators to listen to their views.
The biggest celebration of design in Korea is held by Herald Corp., the publisher of The Korea Herald and Herald Business, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
Last year’s forum, held at Coex in Samseong-dong in southern Seoul, attracted more than 2,000 audiences featuring some of the world’s leading designers and artists such as Japanese architect Tadao Ando; Hara Kenya, art director of MUJI; Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang; Chris Bangle; and Peter Schreyer, design chief of Kia Motors. In its third year, the forum has doubled in size and quality as it reaches far beyond discussion of design, showcasing creative design products made by young Korean designers and holding an open lecture for young students.
Anticipation for this year’s forum is high as forum tickets were sold out 10 days in advance. The Blue Square, the main venue for the forum, will see more than 1,000 seats filled with design enthusiasts and audience members looking for new inspirations in design. Side events will be held at an adjacent building, NEMO, and at Ewha Womans University.
The week will start with an opening ceremony on Monday that also celebrates the 60th anniversary of Herald Corp. The event will open with an opening remark by Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong, followed by a congratulatory speech by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. Don Tae Lee, co-CEO of Tangerine, as well as Fraser Doherty, CEO of SuperJam, and Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, will each give 15-minute special speeches.
The Herald Design Forum, a main event of the Herald Design Week, will feature six lectures by 11 speakers on Tuesday.
Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito will open the forum with a lecture on designers’ social responsibility under the title “Be Better by Design: Our Responsibility as Designers.” Ito’s architectural works, including the recent communal project “Home-for-All” for people who lost their homes in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, are regarded to reflect the architect’s idea of social responsibility.
Italian industrial designer Stefano Giovannoni and American designer Maggie Macnab will talk about designing brand identity in the second session.
Another duo-lecture will follow with two leading Korean designers in the international design scene, Don Tae Lee and Joon Oh! They will discuss design future in Korea, sharing their past innovative projects with global companies and suggesting future direction for Korea in order to become a design powerhouse.
The fourth session will feature two British designers Gary Card and Gavin Hughes. The two with different expertise in design will talk about their common material “space” in the lecture titled “Defining Space Through Design.”
Amid a series of hour-long lecture sessions, Shravan Kumaran and Sanjay Kumaran, the world’s youngest programmers and CEOs, will offer fresh insight into their entrepreneurship and mobile application production.
The forum’s highlight lecture will be held by IDEO CEO Tim Brown, a leading figure in design thinking, after a short lecture session by the Kumaran brothers.
Working at the forefront in design-driven changes in companies, products and services, Brown will talk about his ideas and values of design thinking and how it leads innovations at corporate organizations and projects he has worked with.
Closing the day will be French veteran designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who will lecture on his life in design and changes he led in fashion industry in the past four decades.
Castelbajac will also meet young people in Korea in an open lecture at Ewha Womans University on Wednesday with Gary Card.
The two designers have been celebrated by young people thanks to their creative and unique collaborations with top celebrities such as Lady Gaga as well as bold and attractive commercial projects with world’s leading fashion houses. They will give 30-minute lecture, followed by a question-and-answer session.
The Herald Design Week also invites young Korean designers to showcase their design products at the Herald Design Market, which will run from Tuesday to Friday at NEMO, a building adjacent to the main venue of the forum.
The market, co-organized by Herald Corp. and the Seoul Design Foundation, is expected to serve as an opportunity for them to promote their works and build networks with other designers and customers.
Various other side events will be held such as a celebrity auction where items will include items belonging to K-pop group Shinhwa, actor Lee Min-ho and K-pop singer-turned-actress Eugene.
Fashion designer Lie Sang Bong’s Hangeul-themed fashion items such as scarves and ties will also be on sale at the market.
On Wednesday, the 567th anniversary of the promulgation of Hangeul, a calligrapher will write phrases in Korean for visitors to the Herald Design Market.
The Herald Design Week will wrap up with a special talk at the market on copyright by Kim Jong-gyun, an official of the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the author of “Design War.”
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)