Invited lecture by Peter Zec, the CEO of the world’s most prestigious design award Red Dot
advice for Korean designers dreaming of bright futures
Korea University (KU) held a special lecture at the Global Conference Hall in the Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, where Peter Zec, the CEO of the Red Dot Design Award was invited to speak for the first time in Korea. A product design award popular among global companies, the Red Dot Award is one of the three major world-class design awards.
The lecture, titled “The Story of Red Dot: A Message to Future Korean Designers and Brand Managers Dreaming of Bright Futures,” could be held at KU thanks to the recent accomplishments of the KU School of Art and Design at some of the world’s most prestigious design competitions, which grabbed the attention of the Red Dot’s leaders.
The welcoming speech by Kwan Young Lee, KU Executive Vice President for Research, marked the beginning of the lecture. Lee said, “Korea University has been preparing for the future by encouraging innovations. Design education, one important axis of education, is no exception. As a result of its innovative approaches to design education, the School of Art and Design, despite its short history and small size, has achieved numerous remarkable accomplishments at world-class design competitions like the Red Dot.” He added, “The Red Dot is the world’s most famous competition, which played a major role in leading the value of designs to be duly recognized. Its award categories that change every year represent its dynamic energy. I hope that you will learn a lot from the lecture.”
Led by Professor Seung Hun Yoo, and attended by Professors Tae-il Lee and Seung-Min Park as key panels, the lecture began as Peter Zec briefly talked about design and the significance of the Red Dot Award, after which he answered pre-collected questions from the students. Discussing the history of the Red Dot Design Award from its beginnings at the end of the World War II to the present, Zec mentioned his storytelling skills and efforts to earn background knowledge in various fields as the key contributors to the success of the Red Dot. “Many design awards just give out prizes to excellent designs. But they do not know what they are doing,” Zec said, in explaining how the Red Dot selects winning designs and designers. “You should understand what you do now, and should have the correct strategy based on that understanding. That’s the secret of the Red Dot’s success.”
Zec also remarked on Korean designs. In particular, he praised the product designs of LG and Kia Motors, saying that they deserve international recognition. “It is highly important to make people recognize your brand through unique designs,” he added. He also emphasized that designers should be celebrated when they receive awards or make notable accomplishments as the social networks formed during the celebration can be the source of energy and motivation for them.
The KU School of Art and Design commented that the special lecture had been planned as part of its long-term project to facilitate a design education-industry convergence platform in Korea as well as on campus through its programs for promoting innovations in and globalization of KU design education.