Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Interview with Kim Sanghoon of Airlab

Kim Sanghoon​​​​​​​ shares more on his perspective in design and innovation.

Kim Sanghoon is the co-founder of Airlab Inc., and is the design lead of Airbottle. The design concept won the Red Dot: Best of the Best under the Childhood category for its excellent design. His main role in his professional environment involves applying design to the product which allows the best implementation of its feature. He has been interested in design since childhood and this is his first time leading a design team.

Kim Sanghoon shares more on his perspective in design and innovation.

How would you describe your design research?

All my colleagues including myself would always deeply consider and investigate about identity of product. While eliminating the problems of existing products, we keep find ways to use them efficiently by considering a harmony with the surrounding objects.


How do you know if a product is well designed?

If the product is well designed, then it is probably a design that does not need to be explained to anyone.


If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say?

Enjoy the present.

When do you decide to stop a product or remove a particular feature?

At any time, you need the courage to stop a product or remove a particular feature. I deeply believe that a product should be the compact and easy to control, and its functionality should be embedded in the design. Obviously, unnecessary features must be removed, and you need to stop a product if you don’t need the product.


Design school never ends, at least for great designers. How do you learn and grow your knowledge and expertise?

In fact, I entered design school in France but could not graduate due to various reasons. However, I would like to acquire and develop the knowledge through direct experience of product design and production in practice, and I believe that it will be more meaningful if I return to my studies based on this experience.

Have you personally benefitted from preparing for a major project?

In the process of preparing and completing this product, I have received numerous achievements including design & patent registration, and various design awards. Obviously, the Red Dot is the greatest award for us. In terms of business, we were able to achieve meaningful results by pioneering new areas of the portable air purifier market.


Is consensus always a good thing?

I think consensus is the second-best thing. Most people don't know what's a good decision unless they really exist. We cannot say it is a bad decision while the products produced by consensus; however, we have already experienced and seen that the best decisions are not came out by consensus only.


How do you say no to people?

I simply don't like to say 'No' and stop right there. Rather, I try to make the moment of thinking ‘No’ as a chance to suggest or show something better.

Explore the categories of Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2021.

The Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2021 is open for submissions.


Submission Dates:

  • Late submission: 25 March – 17 May


For further information, visit:

Register and submit at