++ Nominees Announced ➜ 18 July ++ Be the Next Winner ➜ How to Enter

++ Nominees Announced ➜ 18 July ++ Be the Next Winner ➜ How to Enter

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Designers have a duty – do the right thing by what you have learned.

In this episode of our ‘UX Conversations’ we talk with jury member Joon-Mo Lee (Managing Director, PHOENIX Studio Munich) about the role of design as a part of the larger innovation industry and what this role implies.

According to Don Norman, UX is everything. Consequently, Joon believes it's high time to get back to the basic understanding of design. But what makes up this craft? What responsibility (and influence) do designers have in their work?

For Joon-Mo, an essential part of design is about cultural insight: the ability to understand invisible and nonverbal communication and how it affects us. Add critical thinking, constant curiosity, and the ability to evaluate and formulate arguments in an informed way, and you're pretty close to Joon's idea of what makes a good designer.

We also talk about how the people at PHOENIX – a design consultancy rooted in industrial design – uphold a design philosophy developed more than 30 years ago in their day-to-day work. And we discuss the business side of design: from decisions about which clients to accept, to the importance of asking uncomfortable questions – to why pitches are out of date.

Our Guest:

Joon-Mo Lee is a Managing Director at PHOENIX in charge of the agency Studio in Munich. A distinguished graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, his client work and public talks explore the intersection of philosophy, culture, design and innovation. Before entering the design industry, he has worked in the toy and FMCG industry in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hong-Kong and London and with a broad range of leading brands worldwide. Joon likes travelling with his camera, loves seafood, has a palate for cheap booze, and enjoys Karaoke nights with his team.

Joon is also a member of the jury for the UX Design Awards – Autumn 2023.

About the Format:

UX Conversations presents professional insights and personal stories by leading design personalities and the awards’ jury members. The one-on-one talks offer inspirations and valuable takeaways from diverse disciplines and professional fields, supporting designers in their own work and career.

Presented by Ake Rudolf, Head of Strategy / Award Director, International Design Center Berlin (IDZ)


Joon-Mo Lee

Managing Director, PHOENIX Studio Munich