Product development: interview with Jung Soohun

In the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2012, Designer Jung Soohun from South Korea was awarded with a Red Dot under the category “Entertainment”. The winning design concept, Moktak is a pair of portable outdoor speakers that can be used anywhere - form follows situation. Moktak has since developed into an actual product. Red Dot spoke with the designer about his journey, and the further developments.

Red Dot: Tell us a little about your design philosophy. Was there a specific approach when conceptualising Moktak?
Jung Soohun:
I believe that design should have its own identity and designers should find and make it clear. When I started to design Moktak, I tried to find one of the most important features for portable outdoor speakers, and that was "adaptability". That is why I used flexible cables for Moktak speakers. It makes speakers adaptable to every situation as it changes its shape. This adaptable function is one of the strong identities of Moktak and the flexible cable form factor makes Moktak's concept clear.

Tell us more about the product development. What were the reactions after being awarded with a Red Dot?
The Moktak design that I sent to the Red Dot Award: Design Consept had not been finished completely. That was just a concept presentation with 3D rendering. So after I got awarded in the Red Dot Award, there were so many things I had to do to make it real: Making a working prototype and testing its usability, selecting colours and materials and, finding suitable components with engineers, and developing user experience. While I was developing Moktak, some start-up brands contacted me due to the Red Dot Award winning effect. Among them, I selected the brand Yamazoki because the owner seemed to have strong passion and driving force. Then, we started to work together and finally succeeded in making Moktak real.

What’s the biggest challenge when developing a concept into a product?
Actually that was not a big challenge. Fortunately I could collaborate with a good manufacturer, engineers and also marketers. I personally think that if I had to be in charge of the whole process, I would not have been able to make it happen. Working with the right team is very important, especially when trying to develop a concept into an actual product.

What are your thoughts about design awards for concepts like the Red Dot Award: Design Concept?
I like sharing ideas and listening to others' opinions. Design awards for concepts are good platforms for sharing ideas. It provides many opportunities to be connected with other people.

Do you think design concepts are important for product development?
Yes, every person has their own identity and characteristics - so do products. People don't want to be the same and they don't want the same product. Design concept is a very important development to find a product's identity and difference.

What are your thoughts about crowdfunding?
It is a very nice service for start-ups. Since starting up a design team with my partners called “BEBOP”, we have helped many start-up brands by designing products and preparing crowdfunding presentations and videos. Not only have we raised funding money, but crowdfunding is also a good way to share ideas and develop products by listening to the supporters and even the critics.


Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2015 – Dates

Registration periods (up until and including):
Late submission: 26 March – 20 May 2015

Judging: June 2015
Awarding ceremony: 25 September 2015
Exhibition of the winning products: from 26 September 2015

» More information on Moktak