We chat with Rebel9 Design Director Jungwook Kim about who's on the team, how work is structured and who's in charge of what; how important communication skills are, and how in this this ever-changing environment we get to explore, learn, accomplish and fail.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Rebel 9 is a creative group consisting of professionals across various disciplines — such as planners, developers, graphic, motion & spatial designers, museum & archival researchers etc — that collectively considers the cultural experience of the future. With the mind of a “rebel” that refuses to remain predictable, we expand the act of creativity by collaborating & uniting, and especially aim to create an experience that hasn’t been done before by merging the physical space and cultural data archive together.

As a design director, I’m responsible for the overall design-related duties. The first thing I do after I get to the office is reply to emails, then move on to the workload I have or give the team feedback on theirs should they need any.

Most of our projects have a connection with exhibition. The design team undertakes responsibilities of filling the exhibition content utilizing all disciplines such as graphic design, media design, and spatial design. I also handle any compromises between the team & the client if necessary, whilst fulfilling my role as a designer.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

Rebel 9 is a team with professionals from diverse backgrounds and majors. We work as three main units — the planning & research team in charge of researching the archive and planning programs, the solution development team responsible for everything that involves programming of all kinds (developments of interaction, development, front-end, hardware etc), and the design team that handles graphic, ui/ux, and spatial design responsibilities.

Rebel 9’s job is to understand and connect all these disciplines. Therefore it’s crucial to have a smooth communication & build tight relationships, not only between ourselves but also with our partners and clients. We enjoy getting to know these points of views and each of our projects are a result of this passionate process. We create familiar and comforting, but yet also new and exciting experience and spaces. This is why I love our team as we are not afraid of challenges. We hate boredom.

Design work by Rebel9 The Design Kids interviews Rebel9 work-2

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

Rebel 9 always welcomes talent who can offer a fresh perspective and insight, and we try to make internships as a chance to meet like-minded new people. Many students or graduates, even people from abroad apply for internships, and some has joined us full-time as well. We usually don’t recruit officially, most of the applicants seek us out via email and the decision is made through meeting them in person.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

We value anyone who excels in communication. Any newly-grads are bound to be deficient in the practical business affairs at first, and that’s something we are happy to help out with over time. However, communication skills aren’t something that can be taught as it’s that person’s personality & habit. Here at Rebel 9, the ability to communicate with people from different backgrounds and disciplines is key as complex decision-making has to be done together.

Design work by Rebel9 The Design Kids interviews Rebel9 work-4
Design work by Rebel9 The Design Kids interviews Rebel9 work-4

We all try our best to adapt to this ever-changing environment, and in this process, we get to explore, learn, accomplish and fail.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

We would love to work with any galleries or museums who hopes to bring in an amazing archive system. For museums that already do we would like to create exciting content together utilizing it, and for those who don’t we would love to collaboratively design one that is unique to their needs & personality.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

The world has become more complex and connected than ever before. New technologies emerge every day, and impressive design works are being shared all over the globe through social media. Maybe it’s, for this reason, there are many roles or skill sets that are required to be a designer. Design students are studying programming or filming/ editing skills to live up to trendy standards. They also choose to study abroad to enhance their abilities. We all try our best to adapt to this ever-changing environment, and in this process, we get to explore, learn, accomplish and fail.

I think the most important thing as a designer is to acquire their own ‘weapon’. That means to develop your own professional territory, and the basis of owning this ‘weapon’ wouldn’t be without the fundamental design skills & knowledge. I’m lucky to meet brilliant new designers from time to time. However, it’s always a shame when they seek after ‘something new’ rather than the fundamentals. New things are always moving and changing. When a designer longs for that prior to anything else it’s inevitable to feel fatigued.

It’s not easy to develop one’s weapon whilst consolidating the fundamentals as a designer. I also still contemplate deeply about these things. If we all get the grasp of balancing between the two, wouldn’t we be able to position ourselves better in this world?

Design work by Rebel9 The Design Kids interviews Rebel9 work-6
Design work by Rebel9 The Design Kids interviews Rebel9 work-6

Where to find Rebel9 online.


Instagram: @rebel9_

Facebook: /rebel9archive

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