Design events flourish in Korea

Design events flourish in Korea

Korea has shared much talk about design and its utilities during a series of major global design events in and around Seoul over the past month.

The first function took place last month in Daegu, the nation‘s third-largest city, with the theme of design as a means of improving the quality of life.

On the sidelines of Design Week in Daegu, local industries showcased products in public, medical and renewal design.

Experts said the Daegu design event served as a platform where local design companies, academics and citizens met to recognize the creative power of design and create momentum to drive the growth of the local economy.

City officials hailed the event as an occasion to help highlight the city’s efforts to reposition itself from a “textile city” to a design capital.

With the theme, “Design Platform Creates Value through Integration,” the Herald Design Forum 2015 followed.

The forum, the fifth of its kind and held in Seoul from Nov. 10-11, saw world-leading designers and industry leaders — including Randi Zuckerberg, head of Zuckerberg Media, and Pixar cofounder Alvy Ray Smith — who talked about their works ranging from architecture, 3-D printing and marketing to food. Other key participants included Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and young entrepreneur Kim Ju-yoon, CEO of Dot, a Seoul-based smartwatch maker for the blind.

Close on the heels of the Herald forum was the trade fair Design Korea, or DK 2015, which was held at KINTEX in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 11 for five days.


Business deals amounting to $110 million were made or discussed on the sidelines of the event organized by the state-run Korea Institute of Design Promotion.

KIDP officials said a total of 249 companies from across the world participated in the design event, showcasing 2,000 products. The design festival drew about 54,000 visitors, the largest turnout since its launch in 2003.

This is due to the large number of participating companies, as well as big buyers from China and Japan carrying out business consultations, the officials said.

Additionally, KIDP organized a matchmaking event for the first time this year, linking buyers with company products to help bring better business outcomes.

“Design will lead the way in the future. Design Korea will grow as a design fair that lives up to such expectations,” said KIDP chief Jeong Yong-bin. “We will work hard to be a world-class business fair with the help of our global network and have Korean design stand.”

After DK2015, Seoul Design Week 2015 will kick off at venues including the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Convention and Exhibition Center on Dec. 2 for five days.

Hosted by the Seoul government and Seoul Design Foundation, Seoul Design Week will also have festivals where student designers and entrepreneurs can showcase their brands, and exhibitions where visitors can catch the latest and future of innovative design products.


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