[From the Scene] Samsung seeks answers for design in trendy London

By Song Su-hyun

Samsung Design Europe in London researches trends among young Europeans to make Samsung products more fashionable

  • Published : Sept 5, 2018 - 17:09
  • Updated : Sept 5, 2018 - 18:05

LONDON -- Millennials, referring to those born from 1982 onward, are called “transformers” at Samsung Design Europe.

“In this new digitized and dematerialized paradigm, we saw these users play effortlessly between the physical and digital realities,” said Camille Hammerer, head of Trend Lab at SDE.

“They were building their personal world with their own rules and relationship with this technology. We call them ‘transformers’ in day-to-day life.” 

Felix Heck, head of Samsung Design Europe, speaks during a press conference at the SDE office in London on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Created in 2013, the SDE Trend Lab conducts research on major trends around the world -- focusing on Europe in the areas of culture and lifestyle -- to reflect them in the designs of Samsung products that are sold worldwide.

“Samsung recognized consumer electronics are now fashionable products that reflect personality and technology, evolving to become something beyond functionality. The value of understanding cultural, lifestyle trends has never been more critical in the design of a product,” said Hammerer.

Located in Fleet Place in the city of London, SDE is Samsung’s third overseas design research center established in 2000. It employs around 40 designers from across Europe.

The Europe center works in collaboration with six other centers in the United States, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Korea.

“Why in London? Because London has very critical values in design,” said Felix Heck, head of SDE. “Latest trends co-exist with the old with a balance, and a variety of nationalities and cultures blend into new ones, which makes London much more special.”

One of the proudest achievements of the SDE is the design of the Samsung Odyssey Gaming PC launched last year.

In a first for the industry, the gaming laptop featured a hexagonal shape as the main theme that makes the machine more than a dull black box, according to the SDE head. It also featured a crater-style keyboard and illuminated WASD keys. The Odyssey design won a gold prize from the International Forum Design Award 2018.

“The design reflected the millennials’ lifestyles that pursue new experiences in the digital world, and (they) no longer wish to be defined by their gender, race, sexuality, or career,” Heck said.

The London-based body also contributed to the user experience design of the 3.0 edition of the smart Family Hub refrigerator. It helped to make the product more intuitive and easily accessible to family members of any age.

“We collaborate on different perspectives coming from Seoul because design from observation is very different from those from experiences,” Heck said.

By Song Su-hyun, Korea Herald correspondent (