Design Vision: In Korea

by Luke Wroblewski February 18, 2006

Design vision at Samsung, the Korean electronics maker, comes from the top and stresses broad generalist skill sets through in-house design education.

"An enterprise's most vital assets lie in its design and other creative capabilities. I believe that the ultimate winners of the 21st century will be determined by these skills."- Samsung chairman Kun-Hee Lee

“In a world where products are rapidly becoming commodities, Samsung would never thrive through scale and pricing power alone. It had to create stylish, premium digital products that sparked customers' emotions with elegant, human-centered design. Lee foresaw that Samsung could wield design as a competitive weapon and use it to transform itself from an also-ran imitator to a world-class innovator.”

Samsung’s internal education programs stress the kind of generalist thinking that embodies strong product design vision.

“Samsung's in-house school gave its designers the tools and confidence to risk thinking differently. Designers were required to take a yearlong course in mechanical engineering to better prepare them to defend their ideas. Before they could design a product, they had to know how to make it work”. - The Seoul of Design