Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Interview with Sangyup Lee of Hyundai Design

Prophecy Concept brings life to yet another new icon of Hyundai’s electric car that will stretch Hyundai’s design spectrum into broader horizons. All of the design elements introduced are based on ‘optimistic futurism’, which embodies real progress in Hyundai’s philosophy. This is what Hyundai wishes to deliver to its customers in the new electric car. The design concept received the Red Dot: Best of the Best at the Red Dot Award: Design Concept.

Sangyup Lee, Head of Hyundai Global Design and members of the design team at the Hyundai Design Center shares more with Red Dot.

What is the meaning of Prophecy for Hyundai Design?

Sangyup Lee (Head of Hyundai Global Design)

Prophecy pushes Hyundai’s design vision to broader horizons. Our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles, giving more value to our customer’s everyday life. Prophecy will be part of the IONIQ line-up in the near future.

What are your feelings about winning Red Dot Best of the Best?

Firstly, we are honoured to receive Best of the Best award for Prophecy concept. Prophecy is a Design Icon that will bring new standards to EVs and winning “Best of the Best” will lift our new EV brand called IONIQ and give more emotional value to our customers.

How would you describe your corporate culture in three words?


The paradigm of vehicle is changing, and this has given us more room to challenge existing notions, for example Prophecy has joysticks that provide a completely new yet familiar driving experience. For us, it is always a pleasure to face and overcome challenges with new future solutions with our designers.


It is important that Hyundai captures the heart of our customers. Hyundai Look is a part of Hyundai’s diversification strategy, that cares for the different lifestyles of our customers. With Hyundai Look, we can suggest desirable values for each of our customers, Prophecy’s Pixel Lamp is one of those enabling features.

Dream-team DNA

Our dream-team is located globally to sense different market trends creating strategical design synergies. With the latest trends we can create fundamental design essence of Hyundai.

How is design work managed within the team?

Simon Loasby (Head of Styling) 

We have a very efficient Design Project Management team - this team coordinates activities across all studios and manages process, finances and workload.

How do you say no to people, if there are disagreements?

We are always working with alternatives and there are many ways of solving the challenges. Generally, I say no very little - I try to focus on the good points and elevate those. When it does come to a decision to stop a certain piece of work then it can be very tough both for the designer and for the leader - in which case the explanation of "why" the piece of work has been stopped is important as well as the refocus on to the other/next projects...

How do you know if a product is well designed?

Samuel Kim (Exterior Design)

I believe that one can know if it’s a good design when the world recognizes its value. Of course, designers should do their best to create the value which they think is right, but that may not be necessarily a good design. I believe that good design allows you to recognise the value of the product or its design, to not only those who use it, but to those who haven't experienced it before.

Are there any specific design challenges in your field / environment?

The most important challenge we face is keeping up with the pace of our ever-changing environment. We need to be very creative with new ideas, to adapt to this change. It's not just about design, it's about all the ideas and processes involved in design, in the environments we are given. The biggest challenge is becoming a leader in this change, much more than being a follower.

How do you decide which design aspects to keep and which items need to be removed?

Raphael Bretecher (Interior Design)

You have to prioritise the messages you want give with each particular design.

Imagine you would ask somebody to look at a product for a very short time, without amazing drawing skills; he should be able to describe what he saw in a few lines. This is the essence of the Iconic Design, the one that every designer should be looking for, the one which will remain in history of design books.

During the shape development for example, you can discipline yourself to remove lines and features until you reach the level where the design has lost its meaning, its essence. Then you know, you hit the target.

What inspired your team when developing Prophecy Concept? What do you want to achieve?

Diana Kloster (Head of Hyundai Colour Team)

We humans need a new consciousness and it is good to see that we in the team agree on this. We have to get back to the content, the time is ripe for the next renaissance, for new perspectives – so we want to tread unfamiliar paths that have a strong moral component in order to present new messages. Difficult times are the ground on which the imagination can blossom to restore beauty as a motivator and its authentic values.

Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2024 final submissions end 24 April


The search of the best new product ideas, concepts, prototypes and ready to launch products is now happening, Red Dot Award: Design Concept is open to all entries of concepts and ready for market products from designers, design teams, companies, studios and universities from all over the world. This is the last chance to compete in this year’s Red Dot Award: Design Concept and to communicate one’s design and innovative competency.

Submission Dates:

Entire registration period: 1 December 2023 – 24 April 2024

For further information, visit:

Register and submit at