The DESIGN KOREA 2021 International Conference will be held both online and offline (at Seoul’s Yangjae aT Center) free of charge, starting at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 7.

For this conference, the subject of “Design towards sustainability” was selected as an extension of “Design-driven Innovation: Carbon Zero”, the main theme of DESIGN KOREA 2021.

The goal of the conference is to try and diagnose what design can do to help solve environmental problems that have become more serious and urgent on a global scale. One way of doing this is by sharing various examples and methods for improving and resolving the situation. We hope that this will provide a tangible way for us all to move towards a sustainable future.

Prominent design figures from various industries that are currently in the spotlight, such as big tech, mobility, and digital media, will share their stories and experiences which they have accumulated over a long period of time in regards to the direction that industries and markets are headed, the role that design can play within them, and ongoing efforts to support the environment. Please join us for this timely discussion to discover valuable insights.

This conference is organized by the Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP), in partnership with the World Design Organization (WDO), the Embassy of France in Seoul (Culture Department), the Embassy of the Netherlands in Seoul, and the British Council in Korea.

Introducing Speakers

A total of five to six speakers will participate in the conference.

You can find two of them introduced below, and there will be more speakers announced in the coming weeks.

LEE Sang Yup
Head of Global Design Center
Hyundai Motor Company

Since joining Hyundai Motor Company in 2016, Sang Yup has successfully shaped the company’s design strategies and direction, leveraging over 20 years of his extensive experience with world-renowned luxury auto brands. He assumed the role as Head of Hyundai Global Design Center in 2018 and has since led the development of several award-winning works, including Hyundai’s latest EV concept, “Prophecy”. Lee served as Exterior Designer at Bentley and Chief Exterior Designer at VW/Audi’s Advanced Studio in California for Volkswagen AG prior to joining Hyundai Motor Company. He has recently received Festival Automobile International (FAI)’s Grand Prize of Design.

Designer & Founder
Disrupt Design & Unschool

Sustainability provocateur and cultural protagonist Leyla challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As an award-winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, sociologist, and entrepreneur, she developed the Disruptive Design Method and designs cerebrally activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete. Her mainstage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she leads presentations around the world on activating positive social change through creative interventions and systems thinking.  Leyla is the founder of Disrupt Design, the UnSchool and the CO Project Farm.

How to Attend:
Applications for participation will be available from September 8.
Only those who register in advance may attend.

The conference will be open to those who register for participation ahead of time. Registration is also free.

You can apply to join through the Design Korea website ( starting on September 8, and a link to the event will be sent by email to those registered.

More details will be announced regarding the conference and instructions on pre-registration in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for updates on the different programs of DESIGN KOREA 2021!

In the following weeks, more details will be provided for programs prepared as part of DESIGN KOREA this year, including the main conference.

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