[Herald Design Forum 2016] Design -- driving industry, creating identity
Asia’s largest design-focused conference kicks off, emphasizing convergence of tech, art, business
Published : Nov 7, 2016 - 16:41
Updated : Nov 7, 2016 - 17:22
Experts from around the world have gathered in Seoul to share insights on how technology, design and solid business management come together to define a product or service’s identity at Asia’s largest conference specializing in design.

Herald Design Forum, an annual event organized by Herald Corp., the publisher of The Korea Herald, takes place Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt Seoul under the theme of “Design for convergence.” Participants will be able to gather inspiration from some of the world’s most renowned gurus who have long been devising creative ways to push boundaries.

Whereas design might once have been considered purely decorative, it now breathes a sense of distinct identity into a product or service, bringing it to life. It also reflects the philosophy of its makers while considering the satisfaction of its consumers, according to the forum’s speakers. This year’s talks will focus on points where technology, art and business overlap and how designers, engineers and managers need to collaborate from the stages of a product’s conception for its successful launch and longevity in the market.

“The philosophy of the future is convergence,” UK designer Ross Lovegrove, one of the forum’s speakers, told The Korea Herald in an earlier interview. “Converging one with the other, from environmental issues, material resources, new additive technology, digital design to core human values of why something should or could exist, will dominate the design industry in the future.”

Forum guests listen to a lecture at Herald Design Forum 2015 held at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Nov. 10 last year. (Herald Design Forum)

Eight internationally acclaimed experts who have long been transcending the boundaries of traditional design and who are well versed in collaborative projects will speak at Tuesday’s one-day forum. A premium talk session will take place in the evening, where participants will be able to speak with the featured speakers over dinner.

The forum’s lecturers include Yancey Strickler, the founder and CEO of the world’s largest crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and Alberto Alessi, the third-generation CEO of houseware brand Alessi, known for its innovative design collaborations. The Italian brand has worked with architects and industrial designers to bring exquisite, unconventional designs into the home.

Also speaking will be prominent architect Kazuyo Sejima, the second woman in the world -- after the late Zaha Hadid -- to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Sejima is known for designs that blend with nature, utilizing light and space in innovative ways.

London-based Korean fashion designer Choi Eu-don, hired as a senior designer by high-end British brand All Saints even before completing his degree at the Royal College of Art, will deliver a talk on his sources of inspiration and business-savvy methods.

Automotive designer Henrik Fisker, who has worked with top brands such as Aston Martin and Ford and created iconic cars such as the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9, will also speak at the forum, alongside British industrial designer Lovegrove, designer of the Sony Walkman cassette player.

The forum will additionally feature designer Bob Baxley, who has worked on the design teams for global brands such as Apple, Yahoo and Pinterest, and Dick Powell, the co-founder of design innovation firm Seymourpowell.

By Rumy Doo (