Under the theme of "Design Flowers the Creative Economy," DK2014 (Design Korea 2014) was held at the Ilsan Kintex Exhibition Center north of Seoul on Nov. 6-10, 2014. Some 2,000 design products from 180 Korean and foreign design firms were put on display. “The event achieved a significant success as an integrated design exhibition,” said Korea Institute of Design Promotion(KIDP).
The KIDP said that there had been negotiations for exports of design- related items worth 78.8 billion won during the event. Of them, 35.5 billion won worth of contracts had been under way, according to the KIDP. The DK2014 attracted a total of 32,000 visitors who showed keen interest in various design items, “design talk concerts, 3D printing and on-hands experience programs.”
According to the KIDP, DK2014 aimed to “promote design as one of the most important items of the Creative Economy Era, encourage the creative management of businesses, and spread the culture of design on a nationwide level.” “The prime objective of the exhibition was to create new business for the participants and promote the excellence of Korean design,” it said.
Design Korea, which was launched in 2003 by the KIDP, has now grown to become a significant global design festival in Asia. KIDP, along with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE), seeks to promote Design Korea to become a global design event like London Design Festival.
In order to help Korean designers increase exports of their products, approximately 150 overseas buyers from 26 countries have participated in the Design Korea 2014 which took place for five days starting November 6. The DK 2014’s five major design exhibits were Theme Exhibit, Growth Special Exhibit, Creative Design Company Exhibit, Experience Design Exhibit and Mega Trend Exhibit.
In addition to the exhibitions, there were a reception party, seminars and workshops. The Design Forum focused on Korea-China partnerships in design business, overseas design marketing networks for small businesses and start-ups. In addition, workshops and seminars were held for design students, youthful designers and children.
Theme Exhibit (Sprout--Creation)
“Sprout: Design as the future of creative economy”
Under the theme, “Design Flowers the Creative Economy,” the Theme Exhibit was a space for citizens, designers, corporations, government, and other involved parties to find common ground in the field of design. It showed that design, which is based on the core values of imagination, ideas, and creativity, is the driving force behind a new era of creativity that encompasses both corporations and government. Today, design is highlighted as a “creative value” for convergence/integration between industries. The Theme Exhibit showcases the new meaning and role of design that speeds up industrial convergence and communication.
Growth Special Exhibit (Stem--Growth)
“Five design sprouts, mirroring creative economy”
In the “blossoming” of the creative economy, design plays an extremely important role as the flower’s “stem” (the foundation). The Growth Special Exhibit showed how design is making concrete contributions to the creative economy in five major areas, and how it is opening up frontiers in new areas. The five areas include design on creative convergence, design on the Internet of Things (IoT), service design, government 3.0 brand and upcycling design.
Of particular note, upcycling design products were shown at the Growth Special Exhibit. Switzerland’s Daniel Freitag displayed bags made from discarded tents, while Globe Hope of Finland displayed handbags made up of military uniforms and overalls. Also on display were eco-friendly products of touch4good of Korea.
There are no longer independently-operated sectors of industries. Design promotes convergence/integrity in various industrial fields. The Growth Special Exhibit presents an array of creative design processes and products for manufacturing innovation.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The “Serviced by Korea” era is coming, beyond the factory-focused manufacturing era. Korea is pioneering new fields by taking advantages of its global ICT and Internet technologies. These new technologies in transportation, living, medicine and production process call for design on wearable and smart devices.
Creative Design Company Exhibit (Flower--Blossoming of Economy)
"The story of Korean design companies in the creative economy"
This space showcased approximately 200 domestic and foreign companies that are currently and truly ”blooming,” and is intended to facilitate business activity. Notably, representatives of China’s Yiwu market participated in DK2014 in order to promote Chinese design products and facilitate design business between Korea and China. Also, Li Yifei, secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, Yiwu, came to Korea for the design event.
Befitting its reputation as a representative design business fair in Asia, DK2014 sought to promote active exchange and real business interactions among large organizations, SMEs, professional design companies, single-person start-ups, and overseas companies.
Experience Exhibit (Fruit-- Sharing of Happiness)
“Adding, Multiplying, and Dividing Design”
The Experience Exhibit included a number of programs that offered visitors hands-on experiences with design and display design products for sale, making it a festival for all to enjoy. These programs include the 3D Printmaking Booth, Food Design Service, and the Creative Design School, ensuring that all visitors have a unique and fulfilling design experience.
Mega Trend Exhibit
Through an exhibition of approximately 200 items that have received international design awards, the Mega Trend Exhibit showed the latest design trends and products of youthful Korean designers.
Of note, the exhibit showcased Korean design products that have received GD mark.
The GD (Good Design) mark was launched in 1985 to award outstanding Korean design products as an incentive for the promotion of design. It aims to accelerate the creative economy by securing national competitiveness through the promotion of the design industry. All entries to the “2014 GD Exhibit” were on display.