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Bibimbap – it’s not about mixing, but integration, harmony, and balance through tasting, appreciating and sharing*
by Hans Dieter Reichert

Background
This year Baseline was invited to take part in the first Design Contents Festa, a conference and exhibition, in Seoul. The concept of the design conference and exhibition originated a year ago by Jung, Suk-Won (CEO of X4 design branding) and Prof. Chang Sik Kim (designer and academic at San José State University, USA). Both are part of the newly founded OXE design organisation which is primarily concerned with design contents creation and related disciplines such as typography, information graphics, design systems, branding and design strategy.

The 3-day event took place at Seoul’s Hongik University and was attended by international professionals and academics working in the respective design areas.

Exhbition poster (November 2014)

Prof Chang Kim, who I originally met on Facebook several years ago, asked me a year ago if I would be interested to participate in an international design conference featuring creative contents, typography and signsystems as their main themes. I was delighted when I received the invite, since Baseline has a firm and enthusiastic subscriber base in South Korea.

Prof. Ian McLaren, editorial adviser to Baseline, was also invited to contribute and give a lecture about the visual identity of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Ian who studied in Ulm, Germany, was part of the Olympic design team and responsible for the cultural posters and various information items.

To arrive in time for the conference we had to leave from Heathrow on Wednesday, 19. Nov., late afternoon. The flight – direct to the South Korean Incheon International Airport (designed by Fentress Architects) – was booked by our hosts Jung, Suk-Won and Prof. Chang Kim on Asiana Airlines. Although Ian and I had to endure a 11½ hour flight, all in all it was a pleasant flight experience. The flight route was heading east via Denmark, Sweden, the Baltic Sea, Finland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and finally South Korea. Although the service from the airline crew was impeccable unfortunately some fellow passengers were less behaved and treated their and other seating areas as their own private living room. Anyway the service was great (slippers, high tech blanket, headphones and the usual refreshments gadgets). One could choose between meals (Korean Bibimbap and English stew with mash potatoes) with snacks and drinks inbetween. The video choice was huge and varied. From documentary based videos via tourist information videos to hollywood blockbusters.

My co-traveller, Ian and I arrived the following day (20. Nov.) late afternoon and after the usual immigration procedure we were met by Chang Kim at the airport together with other arriving travelling guests from Germany and Japan.

After two hours of dense traffic we checked in our hotel and went straight for a Korean style BBQ for supper. The perfect meal to get to know each other and experience the fantastic Korean food. Thanks to Chang, everything worked out and fitted seamingless well together. The journey from London and the evening with the other delegates left a very positive first impression on me.

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(Part two to follow)

Design Contents Festa WOW
Global Design Conference & Exhibition
21 November 2014 – 23 November 2014
Hongik University, Seoul, Korea

*Bibimbap, Chang Sik Kim, 2012. What’s cooking? Famous designers on food. Bradbourne Publishing Ltd, UK.

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