Herald Design Forum stimulates discussion on design

By KH디지털2

The 2014 Herald Design Forum raises questions about good design, its role in a fast-changing society

  • Published : Nov 26, 2014 - 16:40
  • Updated : Nov 26, 2014 - 16:54

The 2014 Herald Design Forum explored key issues of design in modern society: What makes good design? And how can design make the world a better place?

Some of the world’s most highly renowned designers gathered to talk about the fundamental, pressing issues that design faces in the contemporary world.

The forum opened with a speech by Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong, who stressed the importance of good design in a complex, profit-chasing world.

“Good design is the combination of aesthetics, effective engineering and attention to detail. A lot of factors restrict the role of design such as focusing only on aesthetic aspects, practicality or maximizing profits. But good design should be based on the love of human beings and nature,” said Hong during the opening address.

President Park Geun-hye also noted that the creativity and imagination that drive good design are also qualities that help us pursue a creative economy, a key motto of her administration.

“The drive for growth comes from imagination, creativity and diverse ideas from individuals in our country. The Korean government pursues growth based on the values of a creative economy,” said Park in her congratulatory speech at the forum.

Culture Minister Kim Jong-deok and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon stressed that the forum is a productive and rich platform for the discussion of design and its growing role.

“Design is producing new values when combined with other areas. It is the tool that realizes the world’s most innovative technologies and effectively delivers them to people. There are no set boundaries for design. Its potential is unlimited,” said Kim.

(From left) Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Kim Jong-deok, Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Park Yong-maan attend the 2014 Herald Design Forum in Seoul on Wednesday. Park Hyun-koo / The Korea Herald

Seoul Mayor Park said design has been the key strategy for city governments around the world to improve infrastructure and take further steps toward becoming green cities in the 21st century.

The first speaker was the prominent architect Rem Koolhaas, founder of the OMA and curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. He talked about the changes in perspectives on design through the years. He said design has moved on from being a form of aggressive intervention in our surroundings to being a soft, attractive tool, which aspires to make our lives comfortable. He made his latest exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale as an example of the changing perceptions about design. He examined changes in elements of architecture such as ceilings, walls, doors and staircases in the history of architecture.

Architect Joon Paik continued the discussion about the challenges facing modern architecture and design. He introduced some of his recent architecture projects, including the Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Mathew Cockerill, associate design director at Seymourpowell, brought up the most pressing issue in design today: sustainability. He stressed the importance of creating sustainable design in a modern world where “90 percent of products end up in waste in three months.” He noted efficient processes for maintaining, remanufacturing and recycling products.

Daniel Kim, Asia partner of Daylight Design, a San Francisco-based innovation and design consultancy, stressed the responsibilities of designers. He raised issues that designers should ask themselves such as why they are designing, the impact of design on society and their social responsibility.

Alex Schill, an advertising guru, looked at design on a broader scale. He said that in order for companies to survive in this fast-changing world, they need to know how to sell their brands, not products.

Fashion designer Olivier Theyskens talked about his career in fashion as a creative director at Rochas, Nina Ricci and, most recently, Theory, as well as the inspirations that have driven him to create new design at different fashion houses.

Architect Nahyun Hwang talked about the need to “reprogram” metropolitan cities which are in the end stage of the development cycle. She mentioned some of the recent projects she had been involved with, including the Nam June Paik Library in the Nam June Paik Art Center in Yongin, South Korea, and the High Line in New York.

Architect Jeff Vandeberg, an innovator in urban renewal, shared some of his previous architectural projects in major cities in the U.S., including Philadelphia and New York, as examples of how to bring about changes in an old urban environment.

Along with the lectures and discussions, creative design products from daily necessities to eco-friendly organic food products are being showcased at the Herald Design market in partnership with the Seoul Design Foundation until Sunday at the DDP. 

By Lee Woo-young (