DESIGN Korea 2009, a seven-day international design festival hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Incheon Metropolitan City, and managed by the Korea Institute of Design Promotion and Incheon Metropolitan City Business Support Center, and certified by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design(ICSID) and the International Council of Graphic Design Association (ICOGRADA), was held at the Songdo ConvensiA in Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, from December 2 through December 8, under the main theme ‘Design, Engine of Green Growth.’
The event exhibited more than 650 creative design works from 21 design-related institutions of 19 different international awards, including the Australian Design Award, Germany red dot design award, iF Design Award, Finland Fennia Prize, Chinese Red Star Design Award, U.S.A International Design Excellence Awards.
‘Design Korea,’ is a biennial international design business event started in 2003 with the aim of providing an introduction to the newest wrinkles and information of the design industry, plus various opportunities to build up and stretch vested and new networks. The festival is considered the world’s most prominent global exhibition of international design. The event was held in Beijing in 2004, Seoul in 2005, Shanghai in 2006, and Guangzhou in 2008.
The event basically consisted of three main grounds; the World Best Design Exchange 2009, which showcased awardwinning design products from around the world, a Design Korea 2009 International Conference to look into the future of the design industry by illuminating the latest trends and design-relating issues, and the 11th Convention on Design Promotion to examine the design policies of the government for the short-term and long-term, as well as the preset industrial design strategy to cope with the dynamic 21st century. In addition, Legacy for the Future Design Award, B2B workshops and many other events took place.
The first day of the festival began with the Convention on Design Promotion. The government has declared its unfaltering willingness to enhance the development of the design industry, as well as presenting awards to individuals and corporations that made significant contributions to the growth of the industry. The Presidential Award was given to Aekyung Industrial Co., Ltd., and Gangneung City Hall. Heerim Construction Corporation and Songpa-gu Office were selected as winners of the Prime Minister Award. A government official who participated in the convention pointed out that country’s industrial productivity would be boosted by virtue of the widespread recognition regarding the effectiveness and importance of design throughout events like Design Korea 2009.
The Design Korea 2009 International Conference, held at the Songdo ConvensiA Premium Ballroom on the first two days of the festival week, was expected to be one of the highlights of the whole festival, and it did not disappoint, ending to the applause of satisfied participants and audience members.
The Korea Institute of Design Promotion organized a series of lectures, discussions, and programs aimed at suggesting fascinating and whimsical changes in the function of design for industrial societies, thereby strategically utilizing the design in the field of corporation management.
During the conference on December 3, Bruce Nussbaum, Contributing Editor for Innovation at BusinessWeek Magazine, delivered the keynote speech on ‘Designomics,’ a key agenda of the conference, reflecting the close relationship between creative design and economic development. He explained how design is capable of carrying out global economic development, especially under the context of a dynamic socio-economic universe, such as the recent global recession.
He called for focus to be put on the unprecedented characteristics of dynamic change in the mode of production, which had successfully stimulated the potential motor of socio-economic growth in the past, but is now no longer effective and efficient for development. This is the reason why people are looking for ways to create a new alternative and have turned their attention to design as a new paradigm to provide a path to the future.
In succession, world famous designers and scholars, including Peter Schereyer, the Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, Gianfranco Zaccai, CEO of Design Contunuum, Stuart Constantine, Chief Editor of Core 77, and Rachel Cooper, Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University gave speeches and held discussion groups, especially regarding a design-based business model, highlighting an increasing number of success stories involving so-called ‘design management’.
Design Korea 2009 also provided various B2B programs, such as one-on-one meetings for individual designers and design firms through pre-reservation or on-site arrangement, a B2B Visual Presentation to increase corporations’ business opportunities, as well as a Business Night party.
“I hope Design Korea 2009 was a great festival, offering huge business opportunities to participants, and especially design-based firms so that corporations in Korea are now more capable of coping with the highly competitive global design market,” said Kim Hyun-tae, President and CEO of Korea Institute of Design Promotion.