Chung Hoon-dong, a professor in the Department of Communications at Dankook University (DKU), earned a presidential citation from the Korea Design Awards in 2017. The Korea Design Awards emphasizes the importance of design management by rewarding and encouraging corporations, municipalities, local governments, and individuals for their contribution to the development and improvement of national competitiveness by using innovative design as a management tool. Due to its unique features, the Korea Design Award is the most honorable contest in Korea. In fact, Chung has won several international design contests, including The Graphis Annual Award. In addition, three of his students took silver in the student section of a recent Graphis Annual Award. In order to learn more about his design life, The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed Professor Chung Hoon-dong.
|▲ Professor Chung Hoon-dong (photo by Issue Maker)|
Q: How did you feel when you were received a Presidential Citation from the Korea Design Awards?
A: I thought a lot about organizing my work for the Korea Design Awards and it gave me a chance to look back at my designs. The Korea Design Award’s application qualifications include those who contributed to the promotion of design development and industry development through design research and the development of design policy direction. I have won more than 100 awards at international design contests, so I was prepared to focus on this point. Actually, when I was received the Presidential Citation at the 19th Korea Design Awards in the Contribution section, I also came to think that I would make an effort to foster creative activities and help students in a consistent manner.
Q: What do you think is most important when designing for your goals?
A: Design is a very objective communication skill. Therefore, getting practical results is desperately essential as a designer. Furthermore, designers may have to take risks that others do not take, such as building items that can be controversial to the public, but they can usually grasp people. When we follow the norm, we will only see the same sequences we always see. That is why we must occasionally accept risks and change our way of expressing ourselves. For this reason, I think and work with broader perspectives in mind.
|▲ Professor Hoon-dong Chung is getting president citation from the 19th Korean Design award. (Photo by Dankook Uniersity)|
Q: What is the most recent contest or exhibit you have participated?
A: I took part in ‘The Tolerance Travelling Poster Show’ hosted by ‘Mirko Ilic’ in New York in 2017. The project’s concept was ‘Tolerance’ and it had several rounds of exhibitions all around the world. In fact, this exhibition has been held in many countries since last summer. The project was also a big opportunity for me because I got fresh experience out of it. The greatest thing was that during the project, I could share the value of ‘Tolerance’ with many designer worldwide.
Q: While you have won the Graphis Annual Award and several design awards, your students have also received three silver medals. What role did you play in leading them to these honors?
A: Whether I participated in the competition myself or acted as an advisor to students, I always emphasized the environment is as important as ideas. The Graphis Annual Award is an international contest and considered one of the most prestigious almanacs that have been around for more than 70 years. It selects winners from the categories of posters, designs, advertisements, photographs, etc. Sometimes a competition serves as a catalyst for creative ideas, and in such cases, the catalyst grows as the competition scale expands. The process of competing with each other in domestic and overseas environments and learning more about international design trends can also be an opportunity for rapid growth for students. Of course, this is not the whole course of education, but it can make their content brighter. Thus, a wide range of experiences is an asset for the future and a trigger for us.
|▲ His work 'Macbeth' has an experimental characteristics that approach Shakespeare's Macbeth through abstract perspective. (Photo by Dankook Uniersity)|
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are dreaming of becoming a designer?
A: Inspiration is everywhere. There is no one way to do something. Come up with something creative by not setting limits on your ideas. It is very important to develop the habit of looking at things from different perspectives. When you have flowers and butterflies in your garden, you need a diligent imagination to see them from the stance of the flowers and the butterflies. Creating visual diversity is a big competitive advantage for designers. Always harness your senses when you look at the world. If you keep trying, you will find the right answer.
On DKH's question asking about his future design plans, Professor Chung said, "I always keep the next goal in the back of my mind." As he mentioned earlier, he believes that when he makes sincere efforts, he is rewarded with good results, so he wants to continue doing his best on any new project. For these reasons, his design honors, the Graphis Annual Award and Presidential Citation, come from a position of sincerity. Professor Chung’s work will always be outstanding and we may never expect anything less.
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