Stories Bang Jeon Lee

“I feel free to explicitly share my ideas and views.”

Bang Jeon Lee, South Korea, Master’s Degree Programme, Furniture Design

“While still living in Korea, I was already fond of Scandinavian, especially Finnish design. Initially, I was fascinated by the work of the famous Finnish designer Alvar Aalto – his architecture and also his design objects. That’s the main reason why I always wanted to study in Finland.”

The design student Bang from Seoul in South Korea reached her goal. Currently, she is studying furniture design at the University of Art and Design (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architechture), in Helsinki. She is at the moment also working as a trainee for the design company Artek which was founded by her role model Alvar Aalto in the 1930s to distribute his own design products. The company is now one of the biggest design enterprises in Northern Europe.

Bang enjoys her tasks at Artek and emphasizes that even as a trainee she is deeply involved in the product development and design process. Moreover, she is looking forward to returning to her studies again. Bang enjoys the teaching atmosphere at her school. She describes it as open and free. “The teachers honestly ask for contradictive opinions. Therefore, I feel free to explicitly share my ideas and views.”

Compared to her design education in Korea, she states that TaiK’s education system is more practical. “Special attention is given to technical aspects. For example, we make sure that the design of the furniture also leads to a standard of comfort for the customer.”

When asked about problems she had to face when coming to Finland, Bang says: “Before I arrived in Finland, I spent one year in London and adapted to European culture. There, I experienced a minor culture shock, as European and Asian cultures are very different. In general, I think people here in Finland are very kind and cooperative.

I especially like the living environment. Helsinki is a calm city with lots of parks and space everywhere. I enjoy it as such, as a quite, safe, and peaceful place.”

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