Justin Kyung In Park

‘DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized’ speaker Justin Kyung In Park discusses how a background in architecture influences his work with technology.

How would you describe your profession and your practice?

My research incorporates augmented reality and other forms of media technology into architectural thinking in order to propose a new form of enhanced living and experiences in the dematerialized world.

Has your work changed over the course of your career?

Coming from an education inarchitecture, I wanted to find a niche where architectural thinking could be correlated with technology to create innovative methods in visualization and imagination. The presentation that I will give for ‘DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized’ will explore this. 

What was your “eureka!” moment that made you realize that art/design was the route you wanted to take?

I have always found joy in the act of designing and making, to find ways in which  to improve everyday objects. The sensation of achievement that came after each small project propelled me into the world of design.

Is your work inspired by anything in particular? What turns you on creatively?

I often get moments when my eyes start to linger on objects or scenes. I think about how those objects are made, their underlying material composition, and economic relationships. With research  I get inspired to intertwine and imagine an enhanced relationship. 

Courtesy of Justin Kyung In Park
Which designers or artists inspire you and why?

Recently I have been inspired by Refik Anadol Studio‘s AI-generated art and Liam Young’s film ‘Planet City’. I find that their methods of incorporating AR and VR technologies into architectural thinking and experience building are great precedents for designers in the coming dematerialized world. 

There’s also this other guy that brings out his yoga mat on Bloor Street near the GO train. He finds a sliver of light and just does his thing, right there in real life, real time.

What is the name of your 2024 DesignTO Festival event and what can attendees expect to experience? 

My talk ‘Mutual Existence in the Technological Anthropocene; for the symposium ‘DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized’ will present the concept of mutualistic relationship building by drawing relationships between natural forces, energy, computing, ecosystems, and the human species.

How long have you been involved with DesignTO? Why is DesignTO important to the creative community, here and abroad?

My involvement in DesignTO started in 2022 when I worked with F_RMlab design and research collective to create a window installation entitled ‘(murmur)’.. It is often difficult for new designers to find opportunities to explore and exhibit their thoughts and designs. DesignTO is a  significanct outlet for individual designers and teams to show their creative practices to the public and other designers. 

Courtesy of Justin Kyung In Park
Do you have any memories from past DesignTO Festivals you want to share?

After a long day of installing ‘(murmur)’ for the 2022 Festival, we applied the DesignTO window cling and I had a sensation of belonging; that I was a part of the creative community. That moment of satisfaction and belonging solidified my path as a designer.

Lastly, what random fact about yourself would you like to share with the DesignTO community?

I also design and craft leatherwork! Bags, wallets – you name it!

DesignTO’s ninth annual symposium ‘DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized’ brings together eight multidisciplinary experts to explore the complexities of dematerialization in an increasingly digital world.

Speakers include Lynne Heller, Austin Houldsworth, Alex Yueyan Li, Neo-Futuristic Walks, Joel Ong, Justin Kyung In Park, Skawennati, and Ruby Thelot