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Seoul Design Festival looks forward to what’s next

Dec 18,2018
KIMU Studio - an online design studio - sell products designed by artists with disabilities at the Seoul Design Festival. [[YEO YE-RIM]
“Young Retro” describes the trend, or rather the desire, by young people to experience the popular culture of the ‘90s through a modern lens. The trend, however, is not simply a nostalgic experience, it is a reinterpretation of the past.

That is exactly what this year’s Seoul Design Festival was about. Every year, Designhouse Inc. invites designers to present and exchange their work and ideas under a common theme. This year, the festival celebrated its 17th edition and was held for five days at Coex, southern Seoul, from Wednesday to Sunday. More than 100,000 people attended the event this year.

Two hundred and seventeen design brands in total took part in the event, including small design brands like OIMU - which sold matches, pencils and erasers designed with monotone colors and illustrations - as well as bigger brands like delivery app Baedal Minjok - which offered visitors with modernized arcade game experiences.

The festival was not simply a presentation of art and collections to visitors. People had the opportunity to watch, experience and buy different artworks, including home appliances, bags, phone cases, nail art stickers, plush toys and books.

Some of the leading brands at the festival offered fun workshops and activities to visitors. Naver, for instance, invited its own designers to offer free lectures on site, and upcycling brand RE;CODE held an exhibition featuring knitted clothes hanging from the ceiling and offered a workshop for visitors, in which they could unweave the clothes and make new accessories out of them.

Beside the exit of the festival was a booth featuring various small tablet screens where visitors could vote on their favorite design brands by simply pressing “like” on their desired screen.

The event also included design seminars, which were held for two days under the theme “Design Towards the Future.” The seminars were attended by popular designers including Suzy Annetta - the Editor-in-Chief of Design Anthology magazine - Fabio Novembre - a renowned Italian designer - and Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves - the co-founders of art collective, Studio Swine. All the designers shared their thoughts about future architecture, interior and fashion designs.

BY YEO YE-RIM [yeo.yerim@joongang.co.kr]