Unsupported browser

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Sign up for an Award

Participate with your entry in one of our professional or student awards.

Sign up for an award

Sign up for a Profile

Create your own profile and publish it in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE.

Sign up for a profile

Learn more:

iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE

Present your project for free and win your share of EUR 50,000 in prize money.

Publish your project
header_design_korea

Talking about the Design Boom in Korea

What is specific about Korean Design? How can we survive as a designer? On two special events in 2018 and 2019, a panel of design experts talked about why Korean design is booming and why it is getting more and more important on an international level.


iF Gathering in Seoul 2019 | "How to survive as a designer"

On 25 July 2019, the iF branch Office Korea held a networking event to hear interesting experiences, successful stories and practical advice among professional designers who are actively engaged in various fields. It took place at HEYGROUND B1 Changemakers (5, Ttukseom-ro 1na-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea. The event helped not only getting to know each other, but also sympathizing with other designers and expanding their business ties. 

Impressions and speakers of the iF Gathering in Seoul

01_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
From left to right: Ralph Wiegmann (iF CEO), Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC), Sa-bum Byun, Myung-sup Shin, (Co-CEO of PlusX), We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW), Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX) and Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.), Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)
02_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

From left to right: Ralph Wiegmann (iF CEO), Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC), Sa-bum Byun, Myung-sup Shin, (Co-CEO of PlusX), We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW), Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX) and Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.), Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)

03_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
The speakers: We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW), Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC), Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX) and Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.)
04_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

The speakers: We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW), Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC), Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX) and Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.)

iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann
05_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann

06_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)
07_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)

Myung-sup Shin (PlusX)
08_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Myung-sup Shin (PlusX)

09_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
Charry Jeon (CFC)
10_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Charry Jeon (CFC)

From left to right: We Hyun Lee (RAWROW), Charry Jeon (CFC), Myung-sup Shin (PlusX), Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)
11_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

From left to right: We Hyun Lee (RAWROW), Charry Jeon (CFC), Myung-sup Shin (PlusX), Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)

Myung-sup Shin (PlusX) and Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)
12_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Myung-sup Shin (PlusX) and Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)

Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)
13_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Ji Hwan Lee (iF Office Korea)

14_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
15_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
We Hyun Lee (RAWROW)
16_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

We Hyun Lee (RAWROW)

We Hyun Lee (RAWROW)
17_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

We Hyun Lee (RAWROW)

18_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)
19_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019

Jiwon Park (SAIB&co.)

20_iF Gathering in Seoul 2019
by Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX)
Design Talk #1: "PlusX, surviving story of 9 year"

by Myung-sup Shin, Sa-bum Byun (Co-CEO of PlusX)

by Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC)
Design Talk #2: "Building Narrative"

by Charry Jeon (Founder & Art director of CFC)

by We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW)
Design Talk #3: "Bag seller who designs products"

by We Hyun Lee (CEO of RAWROW)

by Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.)
Design Talk #4: "To communicate with society"

by Jiwon Park (Founder of SAIB&co.)

  • 01/24

Korean Design DNA @ Design Korea Conference in Seoul

Hyundai, Samsung, LG or Kia Motors: Korea is known for its outstanding innovative drive, design, industries and companies and was honored with many iF DESIGN AWARDS over the past 60 years. Some of them can be seen at the largest and most famous Asian design business exhibition, Design Korea 2018 – from 31 October to 4 November in Seoul – with nearly 400 businesses and 2,500 product designs. It is hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and operated by the Korea Institute of Design Promotion. Highlight is the Korea Design Award, which will also take part during the exhibition, where 60,000 visitors are expected.

But what is so special about Korean Design and distinguishes it from others? iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann is giving a keynote at the conference about Koreas Design DNA and summarizes what is specific about Korean Design: “Countries have a specified image and significance, standing for certain values like purism, quality, innovation, not necessarily with regard to design – but you can find them there.” Therefore, Korean design buzzwords are mostly solidity, innovation, aesthetics and latest technology – as is for example minimalism, precision, user- and custom orientation for Japan. Companies like Samsung or LG live up to these characteristics.

Interview (in Korean Language)

Interview (in Korean Language)

Read the short interview with iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann about Korean Design in the newspaper „Seoul Daily“ here.

In the interview, Wiegmann emphasizes that “even though most European people are well aware of ‘Samsung’ or ‘LG’, only a few of them know the fact that these brands came from Korea.” To Wiegmann, the next step is to let the world know these highly innovative and quality products as ‘Korean-made’. “The brand image of Hyundai Motors Group in Germany has grown after famous German car designer Peter Schreyer was headhunted as a CDO. This is one good example of how product image can be influential.”

Korean design is booming – find out more and take a look at our iF charts on the top industries and top companies in Korea from the last five years.

The scales are based on the iF awarded designs from the companies and industries across Korea. As you can see based on our iF World Design Index (iF WDI), Korea has a significant design boom and high quality in the industry of packaging, computer and branding. The same goes for the second table, where the big players Samsung and LG hold the highest score of iF awarded designs.


>> Click here to see a selection of current Korean design honored with the iF DESIGN AWARD.

Impressions of Design Korea

  • 01/04