“Even if a project fails, we can learn and experience a lot.” – Interview with Soo Kyung Kahng from Lotte Advanced Materials
Soo Kyung Kahng has been working as a designer for 23 years. Her parents played a central role in her decision to be a designer. As she has been told, she was a keen observer with many ideas since early childhood. Today, her role at Lotte Advanced Materials is to boost the value of technology by working on design aspects such as creating new visual effects and enhancing design freedom. In an interview with Red Dot, Soo Kyung Kahng shares more on her working method.
Red Dot: What was your biggest moment in your career as a designer?
Soo Kyung Kahng: This very moment is the most critical for my career as a designer because I’m now working on CMF design. This combines the work of a designer and the work of an engineer.
How would you describe your design research?
I have gone through various design fields including textile design, fashion design, colour and interior styling as well as coating design and worked as CMF designer for electronic products and plastic material design. For me, design research means discovering something that can stimulate the consumer’s mind and turning it into CMF.
Design school never ends. How do you learn and extend your knowledge and expertise?
When I get to a point where I want to continue my education, I should spend more time studying engineering and economics than design. And while learning business and engineering, I have to create a platform based on new methods by linking the two fields with my design experience.
Have you personally benefitted from preparing for a major project?
Of course, I benefited a lot. This is why I always want to do as many projects as possible. I think it is a good opportunity to make progress on career if we learn the strengths from each of the things we experience through different projects, because each project takes place in another region, has a different methodology, different members and different customers to whom we report our results. Even if a project fails, we can learn and experience a lot. Projects, in other words, offer a good opportunity, regardless of whether they are successful or not.
What comes to you first: business or customer?
I think that both customers and business are important to the designer, and we should satisfy both of them at the same time. The business is the customer. So, even when we take just one thing as important, the other will eventually come into play. The two things work together automatically. In other words, if we focus on business enough, customers will appreciate our efforts. Conversely, if we care for our customers enough, we will see our efforts to bear fruit in terms of business.