By LEE HYUN-JEONG
THE KOREAN HE
Now in its second year, the recently ended festival aimed to encourage design creativity, innovation
The country's largest public design festival kicked off last Wednesday in Seoul with a variety of events to highlight innovative ideas and boost the design industry. Under the slogan “Seoul’s Design Wizard,” Seoul Design Week 2015 launched 16 diverse programmes ranging from design markets, fairs and seminars to a networking party for designers and public. Some 230 local companies participated in the five-day festival.
The second annual design event, run by Seoul Metropolitan Government’s affiliate organisation, the Seoul Design Foundation, ran until Sunday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Coex and other venues including 200 galleries and showrooms across central Seoul.
“Based on the design competitiveness that Dongdaemun Design Plaza has accumulated, (Seoul Design Foundation) this year expanded its international network to make Seoul Design Week one of Asia’s top three festivals, along with Beijing Design Week and Tokyo Design Week,” SDF president Lee Geun told reporters.
In February, the foundation formed a trilateral consultative body with China and Japan as part of its efforts to enhance the design network and promote Korea’s design potential.
On the first day, seven leading designers and young entrepreneurs presented their innovative designs and start-ups at DDP.
The panel included stylist Kim Woo-ri, makeup artist Seo Su-jin and entrepreneurs Shin Ki-yong of battery recycling venture company Enlighten and Hwang Ki-seok of design consulting firm Light Brain.
At the same venue, the Design Mate programme opened to showcase cutting-edge and innovative design items from 21 designers and entrepreneurs selected by the city.
The Universal Design Fair displays products that are inherently accessible to anyone regardless of age, disability or gender, organisers said. Divided into 11 booths ranging from hospital to office zones, products showcased at the fair include desks with adjustable heights and vehicles equipped with automatic ramps for wheelchair users.
Seoul Design Week also runs a Crafts Fair that features creative items that are inspired by traditional Korean crafts. Focusing only on wood and metal products, the fair displayed items a way that offers a glimpse of Korean craft history.
At Seoul Design Market, start-ups are given opportunities to promote and sell their creations, ranging from fashion items, household goods to jewellery.
On Friday, a Designers Party was held at DDP for the public to meet the featured designers. The party featured renowned DJs and celebrities. Under the theme of a masked ball, partygoers were required to dress in black.