The Seoul Design Festival comes to COEX this week to showcase the works of skilled designers both from Korea and around the world.

The festival, which runs from Wednesday December 14, to Sunday, December 18 in Hall B of COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, is a venue for young and established designers from Korea and abroad to express their creativity through experimental design ideas and expand their territory. Started in 2002, it has provided opportunities for designers, encouraged cultural exchange, and facilitated design communication, networking, and business opportunities.

The poster for the event was designed by acclaimed Spanish designer Javier Mariscal.

Korea’s most influential design event, the Seoul Design Festival has grown as a global event attended by 50,000 guests annually. It is hosted by Design Magazine, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, and sponsored by Naver. The goals of the event are to promote brands and designers, share information on marketing and business models based on an analysis of international design trends, investigate the needs and reactions to designs by the public, and form global networking connections.

For its tenth anniversary, the Seoul Design Festival is spotlighting Spain as the guest country, with several renowned Spanish design works featured.

The poster for the festival is designed by multidisciplinary artist and designer Javier Mariscal, who is famous for designing the mascot for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and co-directing the acclaimed 2010 animated film Chico and Rita.

He is joined by the Spanish design groups Vasava (, Badabum ( and Bravos. Vavasa specializes in digital design, Badabum is an illustrator project headed by three main designers backed up by many guest designers, and Bravos is a group of 21 young furniture and product designers curated by Spain’s most renowned design expert Juli Capella. Mariscal, Capella, and members of Vasava will hold a seminar on co-marketing between designer and brand, design auctions, and the success story of design. The Designer’s Party will also be hosted by Spain, with a speech by Spain’s ambassador to Korea as well as various live performances.

Designers from China, Japan, and Germany will also participate in the festival. The exhibit Hankandasil: Tea House of Asian Design is a collaboration between Korean designers, Japanese designer Nakamura Ryuji, and Chinese designer Wang Fung intended to bare the soul of Asia which is connected to culture and tradition.

A visitor looks at wooden furniture and household wares at the 2008 Seoul Design Festival (photo: Yonhap News).

The International Design Festival Berlin, organized by the international design network DMY (Design-Mai Youngsters,, is conducting its fourth exhibition tour of Europe, stopping in Seoul as well as Taiwan, Beijing, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The DMY Asia Exhibition, will feature innovative designs not yet available in the Asian market focusing on light, mobile, and adaptable design. The Seoul Design Festival had previously participated in design festivals with DMY in 2007 and 2009.

Also, the iF International Forum Design ( from Hanover, Germany, will showcase the winning entries of this year’s iF concept design awards. The company held its first exhibition in 1953, and began handing out awards for product design annually in 1954, including the iF gold award, also known as the “Design Oscar.”

To learn more about the festival, visit (Korean and English).

By Jon Dunbar Editor