[Herald Design Forum 2017] ‘Pouring soul into product through design’

By Yoon Min-sik

Leaders of design world gather at premium dinner talk to share philosophies

  • Published : Nov 7, 2017 - 21:15
  • Updated : Nov 7, 2017 - 21:15

Designing is a little more than making a product or building in a pretty shape: It could be giving an identity, preserving a memory, or using it to spark a new way of thinking.

Herald Design Forum 2017, the seventh annual event, took place at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday, wrapping up with a premium dinner talk. The networking opportunity and lecture for a select group of people invited four of the most prominent designers and architects of today -- Claudio Bellini, Baek Hee-sung, George Popescu and Jung Sung-gi -- to share their philosophies on design.

From left: Kim Sung-hyon, professor at Samsung Art & Design Institute, hosts a Design Talk session with Seok Yong-bae, Carme Pigem and Aernout Dijkstra – Hellinga, held as part of Herald Design Forum 2017 at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

“To design something is to give an identity, a soul to something. When you see something, you want to feel and embrace it like a soul,” said Bellini, CEO and founder of Claudio Bellini Design+Design.

The leading Italian designer explained that all his projects share the same idea of design crossing borders. He also demonstrated the mottos that he employs for the projects, including “fantastic dimension to our dreams,” “encasing memories” and “back to childhood.”

Bellini said he does not believe in a design coming simply from a designer’s sketch; rather, cooperation between a designer and a client is necessary for the design to bear fruit.

“What is important is that a product doesn’t come out from a single person. Like a baby, it needs a mother and a father: Designer and client,” he said.

Bellini said that through design, one is able to mix functions to a kind of identity to give it a symbolic value.

Architect Baek Hee-sung, CEO of KEAB Architecture Design, continued the theme of “power of design to change the future.”

When building structures, Baek explained that his most important material is the memory.

“It’s not the history, but memory. Because history is something that everyone shares, whereas a memory is more personal,” he said. “What we focus on is that people are all different, and I think it is because we all experience different things.”

As memory is refined in a person’s head to form his or her personality, a building also has its own memories.

He gave an example of how as structure can reflect a memory through a project on a local glasses shop he completed.

The shop owner’s life and work, while precious on its own, was hardly reflected in the tiny shop. Baek redesigned the place to show the owner‘s hard work and diligence -- for example by emphasizing the workplace to the visitors -- which helped demonstrate his values through design.

Romanian entrepreneur George Popescu spoke about the new way of thinking through design in the technological age.

Through augmented reality envisioned by his software company Lampix, he uses a projector to display images onto traditional surfaces like kitchen tables, desks and coffee tables, rather than usual smart surfaces.

He explained that the technology could be incorporated into various fields such as shopping.

Sung Jung-gi, product designer and creative director of Daylight, expressed hopes that his designs would spark people to think.

The Korean designer who says that “humanity should be at the center of all designs” said that he wanted people to think about things that can be glossed over -- such as quality of water and the waste that people throw out -- through his works.

By Yoon Min-sik (