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Innovations Abound at Seoul Design Expo

Posted December. 02, 2005 07:02,   


“Design Korea 2005,” organized by the Korea Institute of Design Promotion under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, opened yesterday in COEX Atlantic Hall.

The latest designs from 16 countries were carefully selected by 17 design certification organizations to be introduced in this event, which will run until December 10.

On the exhibition’s first day, visitors crowded the “World Best Design Exchange 2005 Seoul” booth to see various products that have received renowned industrial design awards such as the Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) of the U.S. and the Gold Compass Award of Italy.

Of all the designs, the Singapore Design Award-winning retail identity design, “The Sandwich Shop,” by H55 Weave Interior attracted the most attention with its interesting combination of Asian and Western design styles. The motif of this design, “san (三),” the Chinese word for “three,” came from the Chinese pronunciation of “sandwich”, “sanwenzhi.”

The letters used in the design were colored in yellow, green and red in the middle each to symbolize cheese, pickle and tomato. This design is used for product packaging, employee uniforms, and napkins.

This year’s exhibition particularly has many products for underprivileged social classes, including the disabled and environment-friendly designs being showcased. The Netherlands is displaying geometrically designed brassieres for women who have had one breast surgically removed due to cancer.

An artificial leg, which won Germany’s Red Dot Design Award, is praised for its slim design.

There were also bamboo surfboards and a chair made with recycled car seats.

Last year, Japan awarded its Good Design Award to NHK’s program for children, “DoReMi TV,” for helping children realize the joy of communication through music.

“A beautiful product is not always a good design. A good design is something that can contribute to society by providing comfort and pleasure,” said Chairman Kim Chul-ho of the Korea Institute of Design Promotion.

The “Design Imagination Zone” adds to the charm of this exhibition by displaying young designers’ imaginative designs.

Park Zin-woo, a designer at Samsung Electronics’ System Home Appliances Division, made his “Spaghetti Chandelier” by linking 15 light bulbs with electric wires. The length and twists of the wires can be adjusted as the users want. He also designed a balloon-shaped cushion chair, named “Blah Blah.”

Other products that gained attention with their innovative attempts include a bench made with bamboo craft, and a music-playing shower curtain embedded with coated speakers.

Sun-Mi Kim kimsunmi@donga.com