Kim Teck-koun, Kia's vice president and head of Kia Next Design Group in South Korea, spoke about the carmaker’s new design philosophy, “Opposite United,” at the Herald Design Forum 2023 at the Shilla Seoul on Tuesday.
“The design philosophy takes inspiration from the contrasts found not only in nature but humanity. When you think of a stream softly (winding down a valley), there are huge stones along the way. We try to get inspiration (from) how things coexist in harmony in the world,” Kim said about the company’s design direction.
Discussing the newly launched EV9 three-row family electric car, Kim said the design team tried to embody both bold and minimal designs for the SUV. The electric car is part of the company’s efforts to pursue “sustainable transportation.”
"In terms of sustainability, I do not think (it) simply comes from (the) materials we use, but the working environment of our team," he said.
Kim is behind Kia’s recent milestone projects, including the EV9, the EV6 and the concept EV5, having joined the Kia Global Design Center in 2018.
Before joining Kia, Kim gained experience and knowledge through different cultures in Japan and Germany, leading and participating in major strategic projects at Mercedes-Benz for many years.
Kim is currently in charge of the production of design models at Kia, leading the firm into the next chapter of new mobility design. The country’s second-biggest carmaker, Kia is an affiliate of Korea's leading carmaker, Hyundai Motor Group.