[Herald Design Forum] Creations that capture emotions

By Rumy Doo

Herald Design Forum session primer

  • Published : Nov 3, 2017 - 18:05
  • Updated : Nov 3, 2017 - 18:05

In an age where technology has come to play a pivotal role in design, this year’s Herald Design Forum turns its focus to humanity.

The “fourth industrial revolution” that is beginning to transform the economy is characterized by hyper-intelligence, hyper-connectivity and hyper-convergence. Comprehensive thinking and creative perspectives are crucial in order to adapt to this environment.

For decades, design has been the core engine in driving convergence among industries. In an era of technological pervasiveness, a deep probe into the human aspects of design is key.

Throughout three sessions, taking place Tuesday at the Shilla Seoul’s Dynasty Hall, global minds in design will share their perspectives on the pivotal role that emotional, human elements will play in design in the tech-intensive era. 

The recepton at the Hotel Barcelo Torre de Madrid by Jaime Hayon (Herald Design Forum)

Imbuing objects with emotion

The first session titled “Design For Humanity” begins at 9:20 a.m. and features three product designers who find ways to imbue objects with human feeling.

Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon of Hayon Studio, dedicated to projects that range from art installations and interior design to product design, will question how central functionality is to product design.

The lobby at the Hotel Barcelo Torre de Madrid by Jaime Hayon (Herald Design Forum)
The lobby at the Hotel Barcelo Torre de Madrid by (Herald Design Forum)

Known for his whimsical sensibility, the 43-year-old Spanish designer has gained acclaim for quirky yet meticulous pieces like “Green Chicken,” a bright, poultry-shaped rocking chair. Hayon will be discussing what commerciality means in product design, and how the fundamental role of the designer should be to enhance human happiness.

Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, 61, is the mind behind some of the exquisitely simple everyday objects of lifestyle brand Muji. Fukasawa will talk about how to visualize what people think, imagine and wonder about, in addition to the harmony between human beings and technology.

Italian architect-designer Claudio Bellini has designed iconic pieces of furniture such as Venice, a table made from Venetian wood that visualizes the city’s waters with a glass tabletop. Bellini will emphasize the spirit of research in today’s fast-paced world, along with the importance of human vision. 

Staying sensitive to people’s needs

The second session titled “Design Thinking” begins at 1 p.m. and will invite Carme Pigem, Seok Yong-bae and Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga to the stage.

World-renowned Spanish architect Pigem, whose firm won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize this year, will discuss the need for harmony between humans, environment and structure in architecture. Pigem’s firm RCR Arquitectes, which additionally consists of architects Ramon Vilalta and Rafael Aranda, was lauded for bringing together the environment, history and humanity in its constructions.

Korean designer Seok Yong-bae is an automobile designer-turned-shoe designer who has collaborated with numerous international luxury brands. His work has branched out into lifestyle, fashion and interior design, taking on forms as diverse as his experiences in Europe’s fashion industry. Seok will be introducing cases where inter-industry collaborations birthed new creative changes, and the “soft power” of design.

Dijkstra-Hellinga is the senior lead designer and vice president of sustainability at Bugaboo, a Dutch mobility company that specializes in strollers and luggage. Dijkstra-Hellinga will be discussing the unique aspects of mobility design and the detailed attention required to pick up on consumer needs. 

The Kitchen range by Japanese designer Gen Terao (Herald Design Forum)

How technology plays into the game

The third session is titled “The Design 4.0: New Normal Design Economy” and begins at 3:40 p.m. Speaking at the session will be George Popescu, Sung Jung-gi and Terao Gen.

Popescu is the CEO and cofounder of Lampix, an augmented reality technology platform, among many of his other ventures. Popescu will discuss how augmented reality engages human senses in deeper ways than ever before, and how it has opened up a new world of content creation and experience.

Also speaking will be Sung Jung-gi, the first Korean designer at US design company Ideo, and the creative director of Daylight, a human-centered design company that creates products such as kid-friendly smart goods.

Gen Terao, the self-taught Japanese designer who launched his design company Balmuda in 2003, will ask and answer fundamental questions such as “What is a good object?” and “What does it mean to run a good company?”

The lobby at the Hotel Barcelo Torre de Madrid by (Herald Design Forum)

Since its founding, Balmuda has received attention for products such as its multi-function toaster, which acts as a mini oven for various types of food, and the cordless, swiveling electric fan titled “GreenFan.”

Additional events include a lecture for architecture students given by Pigem, which will take place at 10 a.m. at the Yeong Bin Gwan Ruby room. Open lounge talks with Fukasawa, Hayon, Bellini and Pigem will also take place every hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Yeong Bin Gwan Topaz room.

In the evening, a premium dinner talk event will be held with Bellini, Popescu, Sung and Korean architect Baek Hee-sung at the Yeong Bin Gwan Ruby room. The event will be limited to 80 participants, with tickets priced at 1.65 million won ($1,480).

Tickets can be purchased Tuesday at the registration desk on the first floor of The Shilla Seoul’s main building.

Day passes are priced at 279,000 won ($250), and allow access to all three daytime sessions and the two additional lectures. Tickets for students are 99,000 won.

For more information, visit 

By Rumy Doo