[Design Story] How the Creative Desks of Samsung’s Designers Lead to Meaningful Design

on May 19, 2016
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The creative and adventurous designers of Samsung Electronics have played an important role in discovering the needs of consumers and developing products they find truly meaningful.

 

For many designers, their personality can be seen in their workspaces. Wild or weird, cluttered or clean, the desks of Samsung’s designers showcase their unique personalities and provide insight into what inspires them. It’s that diversity of backgrounds, experiences and styles that creates strength and is a vital part of realizing meaningful design.

 

Which is why we made “Designer Desk”—presenting the desks of six Samsung designers, to provide a glimpse of the variety and inventiveness of the people who create our wide range of products.

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Meet the Designer’s Desk

How can you really get to know a person? Look at their surroundings. People’s personalities tend to inadvertently show up in the things around them. The seemingly little things, like your music playlist, the books you read or what you do over the weekend, can tell the world a lot about the kind of person you are.

 

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When we decided to introduce our designers here at Samsung Electronics, the first thing we thought of were their desks. What better way to showcase you their personalities than the place they display their personal belongings and spend the most time? So we sat down with each of our designers as they showed us their desks and shared their thoughts on design and the work that they do.

 

 

“My desk is a discount store display.”

Taewon Seok / Senior Designer / Mobile Communications Business

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

My origami Doberman Pinscher. I started making origami dogs after I saw a movie about Dobermans when I was young. Finding the unique characteristics of each kind of dog and translating those features into paper construction has many parallels to the design process.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

A quick, often rough, sketch that really captures the essence of an idea. We tend to think a marker drawing or a detailed sketch meant for presentations shows the creative moment, but often that simple sketch is a doorway to so much possibility to develop your idea.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

I would say my approach to design is with irony and wit. My style is direct and my goal is to be memorable, like nice perfume.

 

 

“My desk is a place with flowers and plants to brighten your day.”

Eunyoung Choi / Assistant Designer / Visual Display Business

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

An empty perfume bottle I use to put flowers in. The bottle is curved, which I prefer to the straight lines of a normal perfume bottle. Some days there will be ranunculus, and other days, I’ll have pompom flowers that really brighten up my desk.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

Ideation and brainstorming. While it’s important to make something pretty and stylish, coming up with a good idea takes hard work. In my opinion, a good idea ultimately yields good results.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

I think experiencing new things is important. I personally like to learn and feel new things. Accepting them, visualizing them and organizing them into something I could use later on in my work is what inspires me and my design.

 

 

“My desk is red leather.”

Jinhoo Lee / Senior Designer / Mobile Communications Business

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

My earphones. While they may look like hearing aids and not very high-end, the sound is impeccable. And because they fit inside your ear, they’re good for times when you want to avoid outside noise and really concentrate on your work.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

I think the direction of the design and the core value comes out during the ideation stage. But really, every step along the way is equally important.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

Experiencing as many things and as much as you can. Nothing is more important than that.

 

 

“My desk is my comfort zone filled with things I love.”

Jungjoo Sohn / Designer / Corporate Design Center

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

LEGO IDEAS 21301 BIRDS. The fact that a bird lover developed this LEGO IDEAS series and that it’s so cute to look at makes it the most important thing on my desk!

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

Research and ideas. During this stage I really get my inspirational juices flowing. I find out about different worlds and experiences that add to the creativity of the project.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

I aspire to be a designer that makes something that gets better over time.

 

 

“My desk is a cafe with pictures and music.”

Jangwoon Kim / Designer / Mobile Communications Business

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

My Galaxy Note 10.1. Since I don’t always carry around pen and paper, the tablet really comes in handy. Whether it’s in meetings or on my day off, I always have it close by.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

In school I thought it was having a good idea. Now, after working a bit, I realize that it’s the final attention to detail when complete the project or product that really makes the difference.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

Because I view being a designer as needing to understand the inner workings of a product or a project and not just the superficial details, I strive to meet and converse with professionals from diverse fields and backgrounds. If you lend an ear to what they’re saying you’ll gain valuable insight into what consumers need, if not society as a whole.

 

 

“My desk is a home for rest and comfort.”

Kaei Kim / Senior Designer / Corporate Design Center

 

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What’s your favorite item on your desk?

 

Messages from my colleagues. When a project becomes difficult or we reach a standoff, the kind words of encouragement from my team members or others in the office often help me back on my feet so I can continue to trudge on.

 

 

In your opinion, what is the most important step of the design process?

 

Design research. It’s vital to find a basis for your design and to develop a goal for it. Research is fertilizing the seed of creativity for your design work.

 

 

How would you define yourself as a designer?

 

I’ve always wanted to move hearts with my design work. Finding out what exactly triggers such emotions and thoughts has been a recent pursuit of mine.

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Different Designers Come Together for Meaningful Design

All the designers who agreed to show us their desk, their inner sanctum if you will, were a bit shy at first and reluctant to do so. Soon they opened up their workspaces, as well as their views on design with confidence and determination. While all of them have different goals and dreams, their willingness to design something meaningful unites them and pushes them forward.

 

A wide range of individuals from all walks of life come together to create, make and design. As Jangwoon mentioned during his interview, diverse backgrounds and experiences add to design insights. For us at Samsung Electronics, those insights are key. It is our drive to discover the needs of users and consumers – insights that are vital in realizing meaningful design.

 

 

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