Sooshin Choi, IDSA | Director School of Design, University of Cincinnati.
American industrial design education is facing global competition, and IDSA should provide a new vision for education of tomorrow. This needs a collective effort amongst educators and professionals. Here is why I want to run for the position of Education VP.
• Qualification as a design educator with a balance.
Having studied in three countries - Asia, Europe, and the States, worked in various fields – automotive, furniture, and innovative products, and played diverse roles – designer, design manager, design director, and design educator, I have developed multi-cultural and multi-faceted view to design.
• Preparation as a design education administrator with experience.
After serving as the Head of Industrial Design program for 3 years, I am appointed as the Director of School of Design, which covers most areas of design - product, transportation, print-based, time-based, interaction, fashion, and fashion product design. This expansive responsibility gives me new insights for new paradigm of design education.
Recent extensive curriculum renovation at University of Cincinnati, which took over 3 years, gave me a thorough experience of how to portrait future designers and how to develop platform for it.
• Anticipation from collaborative effort.
1. I would initiate a roundtable survey called Education Summit* to collect ideas and to build visions. This collaborative effort - amongst not only educators, but also professionals - can create a new vision for education.
2. I would visit several world-class design schools abroad to witness new patterns of design education in various geographic areas. This would yield a report Global Survey of Design Education*, which will be distributed to all design schools.
3. I will study if the National Educators Conference can become National Education Conference to increase participation of graduate and undergraduate students.
* Tentative titles
Sooshin Choi is the Director of School of Design and Associate Professor of Industrial Design at University of Cincinnati. He studied industrial design and transportation design at Seoul National University of Technology, Hong-Ik University Graduate School, Royal College of Art, and The Ohio State University. Before joining UC, he worked over 25 years as an automotive designer at Daewoo Motors and Kia Motors, design director at Fursys and Iloom, and innovative design director at DEKA Research and Development in New Hampshire, USA. He was involved in a number of vehicles, furniture projects, and innovative products such as iBOT Mobility System.
He has been teaching industrial design studios, theory of industrial design, and universal design seminar at University of Cincinnati since 2003. His research focuses include product innovation and inclusive design, and he has been an active speaker at institutions and conferences in Canada, Japan, Sweden, Mexico, China, Korea, and in the USA. He established Designnovation Studio, which allows students from diverse disciplines and various levels to tackle design for innovation projects. This rather unconventional format of studio, which appealed to corporate sponsors and students alike since 2008, helps students learn to be connectors, which is a new role for designers.
He enjoys his life as a designer – designing products, designing future designers, and designing ideal design education models. In his role as a director of school of design, which oversees seven majors in industrial design, graphic design communication design, and fashion design program, he has been focusing on creating a permeable silo model of design education in a collective effort with his colleagues.
He has been actively serving design community in various capacities - Vice Chair of Southern Ohio Chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), a member of Korea Industrial Designers Association (KIDA), US Director of Korea Society of Design Sciences (KSDS), and Founder and Moderator of Korean Designers in America.