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[Design Forum] Seoul promotes itself as hotbed of creativity, innovation

Seoul Design Week showcases the genius of Seoul-based designers, entrepreneurs

Seoul Design Week 2015, the biggest celebration of creativity and innovation in design, kicks off Wednesday at various spots in Seoul.

The second edition of the annual design festival presents more than 10 programs highlighting the unique ideas and products of young designers and entrepreneurs.

Programs ranging from exhibitions, sales of design products and lectures by leading designers and entrepreneurs to a late-night networking party for designers and citizens will take place at Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Coex, among other venues.

Poster for Seoul Design Week 2015
Poster for Seoul Design Week 2015

“Seoul greets the new winter season that will be brighter and more beautiful with Seoul Design Week 2015,” said Lee Geun, president of Seoul Design Foundation, a Seoul Metropolitan Government affiliate organization. “The design festival has a goal to make our life prosperous and happier.”

The highlight of the event is the Design Mate program, a showcase of cutting-edge design products and venture businesses by 21 designers and companies. Products such as accessories, clothes and interior decoration items will be on view at DDP from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the design week.

Featured items and programs include a “pillow notebook,” designed to serve as both a pillow and a notebook for sleep-deprived students and high-end Korean “dosirak,” or prepackaged meals, and LED commercial signs that blend in well with surrounding places.

Design Mate program will also introduce innovative venture practices in design, such as cloud-based design copyright management system “Like Thiz” and textile pattern copyright managing agency Haerae.  
Ahn Jeong-hwan, CEO of textile pattern copyright managing agency Haerae (Seoul Design Week 2015)
Ahn Jeong-hwan, CEO of textile pattern copyright managing agency Haerae (Seoul Design Week 2015)

“Designers will be able to introduce their unique products and design philosophies to wider audiences through Design Mate,” said a Seoul Design Week official.

On Wednesday at DDP, seven leading designers and entrepreneurs -- including stylist Kim Woo-ri, makeup artist Seo Su-jin, entrepreneurs Shin Ki-yong of battery recycling venture company Enlighten and Hwang Ki-seok of design consulting firm Light Brain -- will give free lectures on their latest ventures. For registration, contact the Seoul Design Week headquarters at (02) 2096-0175.

The design week offers a chance for Seoul-based designers to reach a wider audience. DDP will turn into a market for young designers to introduce their diverse design products, such as stationery, home decor items, bags, accessories, jewelry and electronic gadgets. At Coex, a larger market will take place, bringing products by some 200 brands and 100 designers under the theme of “Hobby” from Feb. 2-6.

On Friday, an open networking party will be held at DDP where anyone interested in and working in the design field is welcome. The open party will feature popular DJs and fun programs, such as a mask party and awards for best-dressed partygoers.

Seoul Design Week 2015 promotes current design and art exhibitions at DDP with an Alessandro Mendini exhibition and an exhibition of Kansong Art and Culture Foundation‘s Korean traditional painting collection.

Seoul will keep the festive mood in other parts of the city with other major exhibition spaces, such as the Seoul Museum of Art, Hyundai Card Music Library and a traditional village holding a variety of cultural programs. 

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By Lee Woo-young (