Institutions: Seoul National University (South Korea), Elisava (Spain)
Programmes: Bachelor of Visual Communication Design, Master of Design & Public Space
Year of Graduation: 2006 and 2008

What made you decide to become a designer?

When I was little, I loved to express my thoughts and dreams through drawing. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to design a more beautiful world. In university, I decided to major in design because I thought that this would bring the best out in me. After graduation, design has always been integrated in both my work and in my lifestyle.

In your opinion, what types of people are best suited for the profession of design? What is a typical designer like?

In my opinion, anyone can be a designer. Designers are those who have strong curiosity about people and the world. Also, designers create solutions for the world, and possess initiative and good will.

Where did you study design and what was the most important thing you learned?

I majored in Visual Communication at Seoul National University, South Korea. In university, I learned how to communicate my thoughts and imagination with others. Later, I got a master’s degree in Design & Public Space at Elisava University, in Barcelona, Spain. During my time in Elisava, I studied how designers could actively intervene in various city and urban issues.

What do you believe are the major obstacles or challenges for young designers today from a professional standpoint?

Young designers do not have to limit themselves to the traditional definition of the profession. The territory and scope of design is expanding. I would advise that young designers be aware of this change and actively work beyond the traditional stereotypes of what a designer is.

Tell us about the projects you are working on now.

I am a founder and the Creative Director of action seoul, a brand consulting firm based in Seoul, South Korea. At action seoul, we have helped young, innovative farmers, global non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and start-ups with amazing businesses, establish themselves as industry innovators.

Examples of our work include several projects with young farmers in Korea to help launch their brands in Korean cities and overseas markets, as well as branding for the School Me Programme, a campaign to support girls’ education in Africa from Save the Children Korea.

Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals listed by the United Nations, which do you believe represent the most important challenges facing your generation today?

GOAL 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

I believe that after an unprecedented economic growth-oriented period, the world is shifting to recover from economic and cultural inequality within countries, and imbalances between countries. I sincerely hope that designers can contribute solutions to this with their creative power.

Thinking of those most important challenges facing your generation, do you believe that design is part of the solution?

As a designer, one of the most important challenges facing my generation is to seek solutions to inequalities. Designers should be more actively involved in world issues. For example, action seoul has focused on specific projects with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and with young farmers for the last 5 years. As designers, we made an effort to cast a new light on the issues addressed by these organizations.

What do you most love about industrial design?

What I love most about industrial design is that through in-depth discussions and by making realistic compromises with multiple stakeholders, a consensus can be achieved to move forward with projects. I think this process is beautiful because it is humane and realistic. Design isn’t about only holding firm to one’s own view.

As a designer, what is your biggest dream?

As a designer, I hope I can contribute to creating a better world. I would like to join the ranks of the pioneers in this world, who are designing their dreams.

How do you see yourself working with Icsid to design for a better world?

I share in Icsid’s vision. As an international organization, Icsid is an innovative platform to gather and join forces with designers from all over to design for a better world.