Nammi Kim and Jin-soo Kim

The best designers of the red dot design award 2007 in interview: Nammi Kim and Jinsoo Kim

For the outstanding design of the "SGH-U600" mobile phone, Samsung received in this year`s red dot award: product design a red dot: best of the best. red dot online talked to the designers, Jinsoo Kim and Nammi Kim.


What inspired you to create this particular product, and what was the intention behind it?

The U600 evokes a feeling of simplicity and minimalism, inspired by the straight, soft sides of a bamboo tree, and the way the sides softly wrap each other.

What does being awarded with the “red dot: best of the best” mean to you?

Receiving the “red dot: best of the best” is a great honor and something to be proud of.  In a way, it is a burden to me but also the beginning of a new challenge.

What particular challenges do you think designers face these days?

The era in which a product simply provides convenience and functionality to consumers is over.  Now, products need to offer aesthetic value and afford new experiences to their users. For these reasons, I have to continually monitor the market and consumer tastes.

As a designer, what would you still like to accomplish in the future?

The ultimate goal of a product designer is to assign value to a product for consumers.  The goal is to create a design that enables owners of a product to feel the value of the product just by owning it.

What do you think is the economic significance of design?

A product’s value depends on its functionality and performance. If an effective product is of a unique design, it stands a good chance of becoming a top-notch product.  If two products provided the same level of performance, how do consumers choose which one to buy? The answer is clear.

The SGH-U600 (Eclair) mobile phone: Pleasing to the touch for a tangible communication

The SGH-U600 (Eclair) mobile phone is an ultra-slim semi-automatic slide-up phone that measures in at just 10 mm thick and which is closed and opened for use via a sliding mechanism. Its design concept is defined by modern minimalism that aimed to lend this mobile phone elegantly appealing lines on the front of the body and moderate lines on the back. One essential aspect of this mobile phone’s innovative design is that although it is very slim it manages to combine this reduction with a functionality that is self-explanatory and focused on the essentials. Departing from the image of other ultra-thin mobile phones with their sharp edges, this mobile phone features rounded off sides and curved edges,  thus lending it a soft and smooth appearance that is pleasing to the touch,  while its rhombic keys provide good usability. Another interesting aspect of the mobile phone is that it no longer reveals how the body is held together. It seems to have been made out of one piece: Through a new, pioneering construction technique all screw holes have been eliminated from the outer surface of the body, which lends this mobile phone a high degree of understatement. By using magnesium for the body, the phone is lightweight yet solid. Its features include many multimedia functions, a 2.2” LCD screen and a 3.2-megapixel auto-focus digital camera.