[Herald Design Forum 2017] Design gurus discuss using design to solve issues in today’s industry
Published : Nov 7, 2017 - 20:46
Updated : Nov 7, 2017 - 21:19
In the era of the “fourth industrial revolution” characterized by hyper-intelligence, hyperconnectivity, and hyperconvergence, the role of creativity and comprehensive thinking is greater than ever.

The role of design is also expanding at an unprecedented speed, as it is a key player in the development of new industries and convergence among industries. In the new era, empirical “design thinking” has become imperative in solving today’s issues.

For the second session of the Herald Design Forum 2017, renowned designers from around the world gathered to speak about the topic of “Design Thinking.” 

Carme Pigem speaks during the second session of Herald Design Forum 2017 at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Spanish architect Carme Pigem, a co-founder of RCR Arquitectes, talked about finding harmony between architecture and nature by highlighting some of her works.

One example was the “Tossol-Basil Athletics Track” in Olot, Spain, a project her team worked to create in 2000.

Pigem noted that the track, which co-exists with nature, provides a space where people can run, play sports and enjoy nature.

“It is important to create spaces that can be used for different kind of activities. It creates space for people that is both emotional and experimental,” she said.

Among other works that the Olot-based architect showed were “Bell-Lloc Winery” and “Baberi Laboratory,” which was formerly a foundry but eventually became RCR Arquitectes’ office.

Pigem, along with Rafael Aranda and Ramon Vilalta -- the two other co-founders of RCR -- received the 2017 Pritzker Prize, the so-called “Noble Prize of architecture.”

Seok Yong-bae speaks during the second session of Herald Design Forum 2017 at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Korean shoe designer Seok Yong-bae, whose roots were in automobile design, talked about how he had crossed over to fashion design, and how boundaries between industries can be removed en route to designing for all.

The CEO and founder of shoe brand Soek has worked with international footwear brands including Fila Europe and Kappa as well as high-end brands Dolce & Gabbana and Bally. He talked about how he had attempted to look past stereotypes while working as a product designer across sports, casual and high-end brands.

“I first broke into the luxury brand business with Dolce & Gabbana in 2008. And I used various materials because I wanted to shatter the prejudice that high-end products have to use certain materials, like leather, to look luxurious,” he said.

Seok’s efforts to break boundaries paid off in an unorthodox fashion in 2010, when then-NBA star Gilbert Arenas wore a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sneakers for an actual game. It was unprecedented for a player to wear high-end fashion sneakers for an NBA game.

Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, who wrapped up the three-part session, talked about designs that cater to people’s needs. He is the design director and vice president of sustainability at mobility design company Bugaboo International. 

Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga speaks during the second session of Herald Design Forum 2017 at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Based on his experience as a product designer and other noteworthy designs in the market, he suggested a three-step approach toward designing a product.

The first step is designing to last, which is to craft something that people want and can use for a long time. The next is to take a holistic approach.

He took the example of Tesla, whose products range from electric cars to supercars and seemed to be all over the place at first. Dijkstra-Hellinga explained that it ultimately integrated into a sustainable environment friendly system.

“You have to not only think about the product, but also look at the bigger picture,” he said.

The last step is to take the time to do it right. He explained that while years have passed and several upgrades have been made since the first-generation of his Bugaboo’s Cameleon stroller, many of its functions are still relevant today.

Since its inaugural event in 2011, the annual Herald Design Forum has invited designers to discuss ways to maximize the value of design and its infinite potential.

By Yoon Min-sik (