Hojin Kang

From elegant branding projects to conceptual art installations and achingly cool stage visuals, this German designer perfectly balances big ideas with finely tuned execution.

How would you describe your approach to design?

Design is about telling a story, and making the soul of a human-made creation perceptible. The design process itself is a combination of inner and outer circles: opening up to present the results and then crawling back into my cave to focus on the work. It‘s a very meditative thing.

Tell us a little bit about your Shift Save project.

I got the idea for Shift Save after writing an essay about the relationship between humankind and technology and its impact on our current society. I read articles from various futurologists, such as Ray Kurzweil, George Dyson and Amber Case, but also health reports about current problems our society as a whole is suffering from. I started working with a colleague of mine, Fabian Mansmann, developing the idea to create something that would approach the problem in a time of paradigm shifts. Shift-Save is a fictional concept, a cross-media production. Like all ages and cultures, the current society needs sacred spaces – a site where analogue and digital, but also human kind and technology can meet up. So we build just that: an installation, where visitors had to pass through ritual spaces to prepare themselves for an immersive encounter in the central meditation room –the space of reconciliation.

What has been the most challenging piece you’ve worked on so far and why?

The most challenging work so far was the project Kaviar fürs Volk. As part of the group Machina Negra, I was responsible both for the conceptual and organisational sides of this experimental project. For the content we collaborated with various designers. The most difficult part was keeping tans on the correspondence between all participants during the early stages of the concept development and the low-budget framework. But after a while we started to cope with these things and found our niche, somewhere between art, design and nihilism. Kaviar fürs Volk became a piece that questions conventional storytelling approaches and subjectively analyses our contemporary society. But it also became a virtual place, where we meet as designers, put all rules and regulations aside and just focus on stress release. Photoshop Fight Club.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I work on a project called Mantra Galactica. It‘s a simple equation I’m trying to figure out: Human emotionality + precision of technology = return to our nature.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next year?

I‘d like to work on more conceptual projects. I‘d like to tell more stories. I‘d like to collaborate with more people from different fields.