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Swiss-Korean Design Educators Exchange 2023

The Swiss-Korean Design Educators Exchange 2023 is a public conference which aims to foster exchange between Korean and Swiss design educators in the area of visual communication held at the Swiss Embassy in Seoul, Korea on Monday, 25 September 2023. The conference is supported by the Swiss-Korea Fonds and by the Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea. It is part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

We are grateful for the future. The future appreciates the past.


Swiss design education has developed since the beginning of the 20th century in close connection to European modernism. This history is a blessing and a challenge at the same time, which leads Swiss design schools to evaluate continuously how to handle traditional approaches and how to develop innovative educational concepts. 

In comparison, Korea has a relatively short design history and history of design education. Many Korean design curricula of visual communication have developed under the influence of western design education models. Rather than keeping something or letting it go, Korean design education is free and open to develop its own future from its contemporary situation and may ask back what is the unique Korean cultural roots and how it is influencing design education and will influence it in the future. 

Schedule Monday, 25 September 2023 


Welcome and introduction by H.E. Dagmar Schmidt Tartagli, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of Korea and the organizing committee of the conference 


Park Chan Shin, Paju Typography Institute (PaTI) 


Jinsu Ahn, Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK Basel FHNW) 


Kay Jun / April Snow




Min Guhong, AG Lab 


Bérénice Serra, Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK Basel FHNW) 


Chris Hamamoto, Seoul National University




Chris Ro, Hongik University


Kelly Moonkyung Choi, Paju Typography Institute (PaTI)




Demian Conrad, HEAD Geneva (Online)


Sarah Owens, ZHdK Zurich (Online)
04:40pmMichael Renner, Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK Basel FHNW) 
05:10pmAhn Sang-soo, Paju Typography Institute (PaTI) 
05:40pmEnd of Conference / Apéro

Aim of the Conference

In contrast to the differences of Korean and Swiss design education, issues of concern, such as sustainability, diversity and social justice, as well as the development of digital technology, became a central topic in many academic disciplines, over the past decades. These challenges are not restricted to national, cultural or disciplinary borders, since they have reached a global dimension.

Based on this observation we may ask in Korea and in Switzerland, what the role of communication in its visual form might be in the future? We may ask in addition: how do we need to educate our students today, so that they can contribute to the solution of the above-mentioned challenges in the future? This leads us to a broad spectrum of questions which can be exemplified through the presentation of concrete examples developed in the context of education, of practice or research.

The presentations of concrete examples may provide answers to questions such as: What is the role of aesthetics? What are basic experiences which allow to develop a broad spectrum of competencies for the practice of visual communication? How can we educate for a critical assessment of digital communication channels? What does a student of visual communication have to know in order to contribute to interdisciplinary team? What balance between analogue and digital experiences should we provide in the education of visual communication?

This list of questions should not be understood as comprehensive. It is rather a starting point to reflect in the individual contexts of Korean and Swiss curricula of visual communication, what is considered the essence of a future oriented education. Even though the presentations are focused on concrete examples in the education of visual communication, the insights might be applicable as well to a broader spectrum of creative educations in design, the arts, and beyond.

Design Talks

The conference is followed by “Design Talks” on Tuesday 26 September Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea. 

3pm – 4pm:
Mike Choi, Editor in Chief of Monthly Design magazine, and Kichang Kim, Alumnus of the Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW and founder as well as designer at Rojotype, are discussing Swiss design and design history in general as well as their experience working with Switzerland (Talk is in Korean).

4pm – 6pm:
Suh-young Yun will moderate a discussion with Kelly Moonkyung Choi, Bérénice Serra, Jinsu Ahn and Michael Renner on the topic of design education in Korea and Switzerland. 


Institute Digital Communication Environments IDCE

Please find more informations about the IDCE at HGK Basel FHNW.

Institute Digital Communication Environments IDCE
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