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A space for design exploration

Allowing children to have fun at the exhibit will help them engage in the world of design.
Aug 08,2018
“Bocca” by Studio 65 [YOON SO-YEON]
“Rabbit” chairs by Giovannoni.
A gigantic “Kong” by Stefano Giovannoni stands at the middle of the exhibition hall, the first version designed in 2017. [YOON SO-YEON]
Top: “Girotondo” trays by Stefano Giovannoni and Guido Venturini and corkscrews by Alessandro Mendini Above: “Birds and Clouds” and “Fish” by Benedetta Mori Ubaldini [YOON SO-YEON]
A visit to Luna Park in Coney Island, New York is a summertime tradition for many New Yorkers. Visitors both young and old enjoy its thrilling rides and colorful attractions, and travelers from around the world make it a point to stop by the amusement park while visiting the Big Apple.

Through the fall, Korea’s very-own Luna Park will open up and offer an opportunity for visitors big and small to experience work from the world’s leading designers of the 20th and 21st century.

“Luna Park: The Design Island” opened its doors at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul on July 27 in the Design Exhibition Hall and promises to be not just any design exhibition, but a chance to really engage in the creative worlds created by the designers. The exhibit is ticket seller Interpark’s first ever attempt at holding their own exhibition and it is directed by renowned designer Stefano Giovannoni.

“This is an exhibition mostly for children, but for adults as well,” said Giovannoni on the opening day to the local press. “Allowing children to have fun at the exhibit will help them engage in the world of design while playing around like they’re in a theme park. And by displaying big-sized objects of smaller designs and making them into art sculptures, there’s also something there for adults to connect to and have fun with.”

The exhibit hall may not be the size of a jaw-dropping theme park, but the DDP’s hall is filled with works from the highest number of designers that have ever been put together in Korea: 100 designers and 428 works. Stephano Giovannoni himself, Eero Aarnio, Alessandro Mendini, Philippe Starck, Jaime Hayon, Benoit Convers, Manolo Bossi, Javier Mariscal, Thomas Heatherwick, Benedetta Mori Ubaldini and Anthony Ausgang are just some of the 93 international names included in the vast exhibit, with a separate section dedicated to works by seven Korean designers.

Giovannoni’s famed “Magic Bunny” toothpick holders, first created in 1998, Mendini’s corkscrews from 1994 and other landmark designs welcome guests as they walk into the main exhibit space. The hall allows people to roam around freely as if they were wandering through a large playground. The famous “Spun” chairs by Heatherwick are placed in different parts of the hall for visitors to enjoy, For the younger visitors, “Jungle Gym: Elephant” by Kim Chung-jae and a Lego section are sure to entertain.

“This exhibition was produced like a theme park, but if you look at the things that are on display, they are things that we see everyday,” said Cristina Morozzi, one of the three directors along with Giovannoni and Chiara Savino. “Like chairs and tables, they are all basic furniture in our households. But we believe they can be a source of inspiration for children and a chance for them to bring out their creativity.”

Some of the products on display may be bought at the gift shop located at the end of the exhibit, and special edition goods are also available at a pop-up store located inside the Blue Square theater in Hannam-dong, central Seoul. The shop will be open until Nov. 7.

“What I have learned through my 30 years of design career is that there are so many different people out in the world,” said Giovannoni. “We learn different things from different people. And as with any other things, there’s change and development within the history of design. For this exhibition, we chose the people with whom we could show that flow to the audience.”

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]

Dongdaemun Design Plaza is located outside Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, lines No. 2, 4 and 5, exit 1. Tickets cost 15,000 won for adults and can be booked online at ticket.interpark.com.