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Design About The Machine – Casey Hyun Speaks About How He Transformed the Hyundai Brand

Credited with pivoting the Korean car brand’s image into the premium space, and the author of Hyandai’s succesfull ‘Genesis’ model, Casey Hyun will be speaking at Vivid Ideas on Exchange on his experiences as a designer. Read more for a limited time discount!



BY Lorenzo Logi

May 21st, 2015


Hyun might not be a household name; but there is a good chance he designed your car! Globally recognised as the designer responsible for the growth and brand transformation of Hyundai, Hyun is heading to Sydney in June to speak at the Vivid Ideas Exchange during Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. This will be Hyun’s first public presentation in Australia, as part of a collaboration presented by digital design agency, Rysen.

Casey Hyun will be sharing his unique personal story and insights on how design has been a driving force behind the brand transformation of Hyundai.

“I am incredibly excited to be heading back to Sydney to speak at the Vivid Ideas”, comments Casey “when Ryuji gave me a call and discussed the opportunity I just couldn’t say no!”

Growing up in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde, Casey attended and attained his industrial design degree from UTS, however it was no easy ride getting to where he is today.

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“It was about my third year at university that I started to question if I had the ability to make it as a designer” comments Casey “I knew that I was breaking the mould a little with my designs; and that can rub people the wrong way! I am so glad I persisted. I absolutely love what I do for a living”.

After completing his degree Casey proceeded to work in numerous multinational companies around the world as a designer including Panasonic, Ford, GM, Audi, and now Hyundai.

Indesign Live: Having worked in various multinational companies, what skills do you believe are most useful in succeeding as a designer in a corporate environment? 

Casey Hyun: Apart from the obvious requisite of ability to be creative and come up with good final design, I believe success of a designer within corporate environment comes from the ability to be ‘global’. Design has long transcended culture, age and other boundaries which segmented people, and with the highly globalised societies of today, designers must be able to not only ‘know’ the culture, but to ‘understand’ them to a point where they have an intricate feel as to what different people from various backgrounds want.  For me, the corporate environment is all about the right people making decisions at the right time and place, and with the ability to communicate and think broadly, it is possible to come up with the most optimised solution, which guarantees success.

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Indesign Live: What was the main challenge in designing the ‘Genesis’?

Casey Hyun: The main challenge of designing the new Genesis was to create a premium vehicle defining Hyundai’s unique approach; implementing ‘Fluidic Sculpture’, Hyundai’s design philosophy, to Genesis to compete in a segment where top German manufacturers are solidly placed was indeed a challenge, but I believe we have been successful in creating a vehicle which not only defines a good car, but also defines the brand of Hyundai.

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Indesign Live: What do you think the most exciting development in design is today? 

Casey Hyun: I believe the most exciting development in design right now is 3D printing. Creative thoughts and ideas have always been part of human society, and only the development of production technology in the last few decades has enabled designers to truly start realizing wild dreams into the world.

The compromising of style/aesthetics vs production/engineering has always – and maybe will always – hinder designers, but now 3D printing will allow two changes to the society which we have never seen before.

1) It now allows for designers to create ideas which are not restricted to limitation of production feasibility, and

2) Now everyone – not just designers – can create designs with the help of 3D printing. It is now easier, quicker to access and realize everyone’s creative thoughts.

Hyundai’s clear and deliberate goal was to shift Hyundai’s brand perception while sustaining the company’s core DNA of always appearing to offer great value. Hyun delivered just that when designing the Genesis. Genesis cements Hyundai’s move from being a fast-follower to a front-runner in automotive design, with the shift attributed to Hyun.

Casey Hyun is speaking on behalf of RYSEN at the Vivid Ideas Exchange on Monday 1 June, 2015 from 5.30pm.

Tickets on sale now at vividsydney.com/speaker/casey-hyun

Quote promo code HCHODDBT881X11 for a discount of 10% on the ticket price when you book!


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