Hoon updated on Mar 1, 2017

I'm Hoon, an assistant professor at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea.

I got my doctorate from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on computational design. My research interests focus on three interdisciplinary areas: 1) design quantification & informatics, 2) artificial intelligence in design, 3) automated design systems. I have graduated from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with Master's and Bachelor's degrees in industrial design, and have worked as user experience designer at Samsung SDS, Experientia S.R.L and Pilotfish GmbH located in Korea, Italy, and Germany.

My resume and portfolio are available upon request, and you can reach me at

Journal Publications

Min, D.A., Hyun, K.H., Kim, S.-J., & Lee, J.-H. (2017). A Rule-Based Design Support System for Theme Park Servicescape. Advanced Engineering Informatics (accepted). DOI 10.1016/j.aei.2017.01.005.

Hyun, K.H., Lee, J.-H., & Kim, M. (2015). The Gap between Design Intent and User Response: Identifying Typical and Novel Car Design Elements among Car Brands for Evaluating Visual Significance. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing (accepted). DOI 10.1007/s10845-015-1176-8.

Hyun, K.H., Lee, J.-H., Kim, M., & Cho, S. (2015). Style synthesis and analysis of car designs for style quantification based on product appearance similarities. Advanced Engineering Informatics 29 (3), 483-494.

Hyun, K.H., Min, D. A., Kim, S.-J. & Lee, J.-H. (2016). Investigating cultural uniqueness in theme parks through finding relationships between visual integration of visitor traffics and capacity of service facilities. International Journal of Architectural Computing 14(3), 247-254.

Hyun, K.H., Park, J. & Lee, J.-H. (2016). The Effect of Color, Material and Finishing Design on Purchase Intent. Design Research 1(2), 56-63.

Conference Publications

Wi, H., Hyun, K.H., Lee, J., & Lee, W.-J. (2016). The Effect of DJs’ Social Network on Music Popularity. Paper presented at the International Conference of Music Computation (ICMC), 12-16 September 2016, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Hyun, K.H. & Lee, J.-H. (2016). Synthesis of Car Styling: Design Upgrades Based On Strategic Styling Positioning. Poster presented at the conference of Design Computing & Cognition (DCC), 27-29 June 2016, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.

Cho, S., Kim, M., Song, I., Lee, J.-H., & Hyun, K.H. (2015). Strategic Design Management for Vertically Differentiated Firms via Design Quantification. Paper presented at the 37th ISMS Marketing Science Conference, 18-20 June 2015, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Hyun, K.H., Min, A., Kim, S.-J. & Lee, J.-H. (2015). Finding Relationships between Visitor Traffics around Major Attractions and the Surrounding Environments in Theme Parks. In Y. Ikeda, C. M. Herr, D. Holzer, S. Kaijima, M. J. Kim. M, A, Schnabel (Eds.), Emerging Experience in Past, Present and Future of Digital Architecture: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, 20-23 May 2015, Daegu, Korea (pp. 777-784). Daegu: Kyungbuk Print Co., Ltd.

Hyun, K.H. & Lee, J.-H. (2014). Identifying Unique Car Design Elements Among Car Brands for Evaluating Visual Significance [CD-ROM]. Paper presented at 2014 Design Engineering Workshop (DEWS 2014): Design meets Engineering, 20-22 November 2014, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Taipei, Taiwan.

Hyun, K.H., Lee, J.-H., Kim, M.-K., & Cho, S. (2014). Style Analysis Methodology: Identifying the Car Brand Design Trends through Hierarchical Clustering. In N. Gu, S. Watanabe, H. Erhan, M.H. Haeusler, W. Huang, & R. Sosa (Eds.), Rethinking Comprehensive Design: Speculative Counterculture: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, 14-17 May 2014, Kyoto (pp. 327–336). Kyoto: Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Hyun, K.H., Kim, S.-J., & Lee, J.-H. (2013). Balance between Cultural Features and Service Design in International Theme Parks [USB]. In Consilience and Innovation in Design: Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2013), 26-30 August 2013, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 1560-1568.

Hyun, K.H. (2012). “Design Democracy” presented at the twentieth-sixth annual national conference on liberal arts and the education of artists, Word/Image, New York City, 2012.

Books & Chapters

Hyun, K.-H. & Lee, J.-H. (2016). Style Synthesis Based on Strategic Styling Decision. In Ji-Hyun Lee (Eds.), Morphological Analysis of Cultural DNA.


Design Research Award
Best Paper Award, Korea Institute of Design Research Society, 2016.

Norman Bel Geddes Award
Award Recipient, Rhode Island School of Design, 2012.

Red Dot Design Award
Design Concept Award, 2010.

Modern Painters Re:vision Award
Finalist, 2010.

E-Waste Competition
Bronze Award, 2009.

Solar Decathlon Competition USA
2nd Place for electrically and aesthetically efficient house, 2009.

James Hansen Industrial Design Merit Award
Award Recipient, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.

Samsung YoungPlus Membership Idea Competition
Finalist, 2006.

Car Styling Analysis
May 2016

Understanding how similar design appears is a key element to understanding companies’ design strategies. However, it is difficult to evaluate companies’ design strategies with conventional style measurement methods since they only taxonomically measure whether a specific characteristic is included in a specific style. This study numerically measured car design similarities to synthesize and analyze car brand styles, thereupon discovering the design trends among car brands for strategic design positioning. This study aims to find methods for quantifying style differences and identifying unique design elements of car designs among 26 automobile manufacturers based on design similarities of a large quantity of car designs (N = 135). To achieve this goal, a hybrid style quantification methodology – a mixture of Fourier decomposition, eye tracker, and shape grammar – was created to evaluate similarities, visual significance, and combinations of 19 car design elements.

Car Styling Synthesis
May 2016

This research proposes a method to synthesize car designs based on strategic styling positioning (product appearance similarities among product generations, portfolios and competitors). Automobile manufacturers strategically upgrade new designs similarly or differently from the designs of previous generations, both those within product portfolio, and those from competitors. Design similarity is a critical element of the design upgrading process, and design upgrade strategies vary depending on the automobile manufacturer. Some car brands maintain high similarities with their previous car designs, while others change the designs of new cars. Thus, this paper investigates ways of implementing design similarity to synthesize styles that reflect the particular styling strategy. The implementation of design similarity for generating design alternatives will help to derive two major contributions: first, to provide better understanding of the function of visual reference, and second, designers can strategically upgrade new generations of car designs while maintaining (or changing) a specific style.

DJ Network Analysis
March 2016
collaboration with
Hyungseok Wi, Jongpil Lee and Wonjae Lee

This research focuses on two distinctive determinants of DJ popularity in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) culture. While one's individual artistic tastes influence the construction of playlists for festivals, social relationships with other DJs also have an effect on the promotion of a DJ’s works. To test this idea, an analysis of the effect of DJs’ social networks and the audio features of popular songs was conducted. We collected and analyzed 713 DJs’ playlist data from 2013 to 2015, consisting of audio clips of 3172 songs. The number of cases where a DJ played another DJ's song was 15759. Our results indicate that DJs tend to play songs composed by DJs within their exclusive groups. This network effect was confirmed while controlling for the audio features of the songs. This research contributes to a better understand of this interesting but unique creative culture by implementing both the social networks of the artists’ communities and their artistic representations.

Theme Park Design System
December 2015
collaboration with
Aram Min, Sun-Joong Kim and Ji-Hyun Lee

The goal of the project is to find the relationships between theme park visitor traffics and service facility location along with their capacities. To do that, we analyzed four Disneylands situated in Paris, Tokyo, and the U.S. (Florida and California). By analyzing the visual integration of visitor traffics at each Disneylands and calculating the capacities of service facilities such as the attractions, shops, and restaurants, we ran through a linear and a geographically weighted regression analysis. Our results indicate that there is a unique relationship between the service facility placements and the amount of predicted traffic flows for each Disneylands. Based on the research finings, we formulated service design rules and the design patterns. Finally, the rules were integrated into a design process using Visual Basic for Application (VBA) plug-in.

Words as form
May 2012
part of the master's thesis

This is part of my master's thesis that explores ways of decoding the nuance of written human language by using computer commands to extract the meaning that lies beneath the surface of written words. In particular, i focus on the intersection of the semantic relationships of language and programming commands. Thus, this new system of connecting an author's meaning with a computer algorithm will result in an algorithm analogy. The system comprises of a process of using meaning to evaluate the relationship between an author's thoughts and philosophies based on their written texts and translating meanings of words to create and modify artifacts such as images, sounds and three-dimensional shapes. The aim of this project is to use the book as a source of inspiration in the creation of a 3d object. So the philosophy or style of a famous designer could be captured, interpreted, and translated to generate a whole spectrum of new 3d designs.

Words as conversation
May 2012 as
part of the master's thesis

Words as Conversation opens up new thoughts to the readers through an analysis of written text, specifically Thomas Thwaites' Toaster Project and Walter Benjamin's Illumination. My previous project, Words as Summary, opened the possibility to extract the essence of textual information through semiotics. After this exploration, I created a website that extracted and compared written texts from two separate sources and allowed people to print the resulting text as a book. The purpose of Words as Conversation project is to create new ways to use words from original texts. It is about creating imaginary sentences based on the words and word structure that is used. It is about using author's intention to imagine what he would have said; it is almost like a conversation with the author. If the purpose of books is to acquire knowledge, then the Words as Conversation project is about acquiring new knowledge on the systems of words that he or she used.

Words as summary
May 2012
part of the master's thesis

Words visually represent an individual's cognitively processed information. Thus, it is possible to extract the emotion and intention of writing based on composition and word choice. Words as Summary visualizes the essence of the author's intent by counting the frequency of words used. I used the plain text file of John Maeda's The Laws of Simplicity and calculated how many times each word is used. Then I created 1 font and omitted 5 pixels of each character in 7 steps. The occurrence of a word correlates with its visual representation; the greater the frequency, the clearer the font.

Seoul Metro Visualization
December 2014

Dynamic visualization of metro data.

Misty Seoul
December 2012
collaboration with
Hwon Ihm, Jinah Kwak and Daegyu Lee

An experimental project where the city map is divided into an array of grids, and the level of brightness represents the level of visiting frequencies by the incoming tourists. Our final product is an interactive map that displays the movement of the tourists in Seoul, each leaving a mist-like trail that cumulates into a set of bright points and lines. One can utilize such map to decide which area to develop first.

Seoul Statistics
December 2012
in collaboration with
Hwon Ihm, Jinah Kwak and Daegyu Lee

Visual Disk
December 2012

The purpose of this project is to investigate a new method of translating sound into a visual form. The goal is to visualize the form strictly based on the waveform of the sound so that the sound can be reproduced exactly when the elements of the visualized form are decoded. The waveform of the musical selection is divided into 256 pieces and placed, based on the z-axis, in such a position that the segmented waveforms appear as a doughnut shape. Then each segment is lofted to create a cartographical form. Since the form is created based on the waveform itself, it is possible to replay the music though distance sensors that rotate based on the z-axis.

CT 2012 Complex Network
October 2012

CT 2012 Complex Network is a short term project for visualizing the social relationships among CT class of 2012 Fall students. The project initiated with several colleagues of mine to investigate who has the most reliable and stable social relationship within the class. We have updated the social data in order to visualize the changes in social status among the CT class of 2012 Fall.

Particle image
May 2012

Video is captured from webcam. Image particles are generated. Captured video from webcam is projected on particles. Particles spread randomly selected 3D models. based on built-in gyro sensor like movement of sand in sand glass.

Emotional communication
May 2012

Handphone was an exploration of integrating the experience of holding hands between two people who are physically distant and talking on the phone. Based on this concept, I created a hand-shaped tangible interface that can be attached to mobile phones. Just as a physical sound wave travels slower than a non-physical electrical signal, the tactile feeling can be delivered faster than the physical sound waves. The idea is that the hand interface will squeeze only if two people are moving in the same direction and at the same speed. In other words, people have to behave as if they are walking together in order to stay connected with the person on the other line. Thus, Handphone gives the sensation that a couple is holding each other's hands while talking on the phone.

RGB sound compass
October 2011

The objective of RGB Sound Compass is to bring different environments' auditory experiences, such as city, forest or sea, to visually impaired patients who cannot enjoy traveling and for children who are always curious about the outer world. For instance, if the RGB Compass is located on the blue area of the map, it plays the sound of waves and sea gulls. When the device is on the orange area (color for high way), it plays the sound of busy traffic. Thus, the RGB Sound Compass plays the nuanced sound of any location of the map that users can intuitively experience through interaction.

Relationship typeface
February 2011

"Relationship Typeface," attempted to visualize virtual social relationships in a more meaningful way by adding more depth to typefaces than just style. By using Processing and Rhinoscript, I changed the form of typefaces based on the frequency of interaction between friends via social network services. The more frequent a person posts on another's wall, the less distorted their typeface becomes. Conversely, the rarer the interaction between the two, the more change within their typeface. This visualizes their relationship status more intuitively because words and images are the only channels in social network service culture.

Silent karaoke
December 2011

I was exploring various methods of interaction between humans and computers by focusing on the sensory areas of our face, such as mouth, nose, and ears. When we hear music that we like, we tend to sing along. Therefore, I decided to use the human mouth as the controller to adjust volume and song selection when playing music through a computer. The computer's camera will sense the location and shape of the mouth. When the mouth is located on the left half of the screen, the computer plays a female version of Nella Fantasia, but switches to a male version when the mouth moves to the right half of the screen. The width of the mouth controls the volume: wider open plays the music louder, while a closed mouth mutes the song.

Mouse mouse
May 2011

Mouse Mouse[GUI GUI : 쥐 쥐] creates tactile and mental intimacy between the human and a digital input device. I was investigating methods of connecting a mechanical mouse with a living mouse. The mouse cursor moves by tracking the movement and location of the furry-mouse. If the mouse stops moving in one location for more than 2 seconds, it randomly left clicks, double clicks or right clicks. In order to open up a document or browse on the internet, there must be communication between the human and the furry-mouse. If the communication is not successful, then unwanted files such as pictures and video can be opened or even deleted. If the user is frustrated, a rubber glove can be used to grasp the mouse and move it to the desired location. Thus, the user has to be a friend to the interfacing device in order to use it.

Sound light
May 2011
as commercial design approach of the communication design series

Sound Light is an electronic lamp that visualizes the intensity of sound in the surrounding environment and sends a visual cue to people of how loud they are. Based on this information, people can decide how to behave. Sound light flickers based on the sound around its environment. Louder the decibel, dimmer it gets. If the noise overwhelms maximum thresholds, sound light will be turned off.

Digital noose
May 2011
as discursive design approach of the communication design series

The purpose of Digital Noose is to bring our social communication methods from the digital world to the real world by committing suicide digitally but promoting new social interaction physically. Permanent death is a way to empower responsibilities and promote certain behaviours in real life. This could also be achieved if death is implied in an immortal digital world. Thus, Digital Noose works to value the termination and resurrection processes of our ego and create a new physical community with people who have similar perspectives, with whom we can enjoy our forgotten paradise.

May 2011
as responsible design approach of the communication design series

For visually impaired consumers, their fingertips are their eyes. They use a reading and writing system called Braille. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle consisting of two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four (26) possible subsets, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised.

May 2011
as experimental design approach of the communication design series

Facebox is a cube helmet with 5 screens on 5 sides. It allows people to meet others physically through digital output devices. Users introduce one person to another through the user's own physical body, which is wearing the Facebox helmet. The face of the person not physically present appears on the screens, thus creating the illusion that they are physically present through the user's body. Facebox is applicable in various situations such as introducing friends to one another, simulating dating in a long-distance relationship, or allowing a mother to help a babysitter comfort a fussy baby.

Bug torturing objects
May 2011
in collaboration with
Calvin Ku and Felipe Sarmiento

As children, some of us had a morbid fascination with the dismemberment and torture of unsuspecting insects. We did terrible things with no remorse and felt little or no shame. What we are trying to do is build objects that will let us revisit these experiences and reflect on our indifference towards insects. By giving bugs a voice we will hopefully make people feel sorry and reconsider their actions. Two scenarios we are trying to recreate are: Firefly Jar and Burning Ants.

Plastic paint tube
October 2010

These are concept sketches of process of redesigning paint tube. I was concentrating on finding more effective way to squeeze out paint from the tube. Most of the tubes are made of tin or aluminum which makes even harder to squeeze out. My final concept is to replace tube material into thin plastic sheet, and use larger lid to allow tubes to stand upside down.

Small to large
December 2010

This was model making class project to make a three times larger working model of existing object. I chose to make Joseph and Josephs' pasta measuring product.

Co-design aid kit
December 2010
in collaboration with
Annemarie Gugelmann

The goal of this project was to come up with a platform that would effectively guide designers to design with their clients. The importance of collaboration is significant in the initial design process. Therefore, Annemarie and I have tried to create guidelines for designers to follow based on what project they are working one; design products, design interaction, design systems, and design space. During the process of creating our Co Design Aid Tool Kit, we tested it with 14 elementary school students from Wheeler School and Community Prep.

Bio frame
December 2010
in collaboration with
Bolun Yang and Felipe Sarmiento

The project initiated as a school assignment in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island. The university provided a low cost biodigester to install in Guatemala to gain eco-friendly energy resources from what was considered waste: cow manure. In collaboration with my colleagues, we created a system based on combining a cold frame and the biodigester.; The cold frame requires heat in the cold weather and the biodisgester requires insulation, so combined them to benefit from each other. The outcome of the project was a business model of how our system would positively affect the Guatemalan's standard of living.

May 2010
in collaboration with Yong Seok Hong and Yun Jin Kim

Redial is a clock made with thrown away cell phone LCD screen. People throw away cell phones almost every year, sometimes every six month. Statistically, millions of deserted mobile phones are produced every year. We used sixty black and white LCDs and twelve color LCDs for Redial clock. Black and white LCDs represent minutes, color LCDs represent hour. Despite of the brand, black and white LCDs sizes are similar therefore Redial is also easier to manufacture.

Penta chair
May 2010
in collaboration with
Francisco Villefure, Tim Tsai and Tom Herbert

The goal of our project was to distinguish which parts of a computer system are both easily obtainable (low demand, reduced fabrication needed) and undesired based on intrinsic monetary value. We tried to reevaluate original characteristics of electronic parts/materials and embrace their potential. We wanted to use 100% of e-waste material: our choice of material was PC shells and the IDE cable.

The gable home
May 2010
in collaboration with
department of architecture and electrical engineering at uiuc

The solar house project started with a studio class in architecture last semester, when three students teams produced designs based around three themes - a linear house, a modular house and a core serviced house. all teams were asked to consider the issue of transport and assembly, and it was decided from the outset to build a super-insulated house to the European passive haus standard. in brief this involves using an air-tight construction and high levels of insulation with carefully managed ventilation, heat recovery and cooling systems. Constructed in this way, a house has little need for heating systems in most parts of the US until the outside temperature is well below freezing, making the best use of the electrical energy generated by the PV solar array on the roof.

Lidless coffee cup
September 2009

In America, more than 50% of the population drinks coffee every day, roughly 150 million drinkers. Technically, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, if we consider the global coffee consumption, it would be enormous. Thus, just by changing one tiny part of a disposable coffee cup could save thousands of dollars and prevent environmental threats. Sahara is made of tin grains of sand. It's amazing how much we drink coffee from disposable cups. Disposable is almost always environmentally harmful by we can't suddenly force people to change against their will. The change should be gradual. The 100% paper coffee cup will be a transitional tool to increase public awareness to go green. Lidless coffee cup can be manufactured almost same as the ordinary disposable cups, except the fact that it does not need plastic lid. It would be manufactured and stacked when it will be shipped to the customer. Barista can make the coffee and pour it in, and the customer put sugar, milk or whatever they want and close it.

Foldable hanger
September 2009

In today's new living patterns, people travel much more frequently. Travelers do not typically pack hangers because they are too bulky. The expectation is that hotels will be stocked with hangers. However, if hangers were portable, fewer of them would need to be manufactured, which would ultimately save resources. The Foldable Hanger enhances hanger portability and helps users to pack their clothing more space-efficiently by using the folding mechanism. The folding mechanism does not require any additional material because the injection-molded plastic with which the hanger is made is elastic enough to bend without breaking – a living hinge. Thus, The Foldable Hanger can be produced at roughly the same cost as an ordinary hanger.

September 2009

My intent is to design an object that is aesthetically and emotionally pleasing enough to discourage hiding dirty clothes, collect them effectively, and encourage users to do the laundry periodically. The Ohm is an invention of "furniture" for laundry, just like a book shelf or a desk. Furniture is used to organize objects that people use often. The Ohm has two parts: the body and the bag. The handle-like design on the body helps collect the dirty clothes people throw on it, which is a habit. The unique shape also allows the user to place clothes that they want to wear again before washing. Additionally, the user can simply push laundry into the bag by pressing on the middle part. Finally, when it is full, the user can separate the bag from the body and take it to washing machine.

March 2008

ICHTUS is designed to re-evaluate the quality of patens + chalices that have been used over centuries to perform Eucharist. ICHTUS is made out of three metal structures which represent the trinity. Glass symbolizes the heart of Jesus that contains blood. Thus, as a whole, it will represent Jesus, and therefore Christians can truly feel that they are sharing Jesus's body and blood. Bread will be stored within the tripod. Wine will be stored and will be consumed by drinking through the tripod which consists of straws. Also, it can be poured like a bottle

Pulp form
September 2008

It was form study about creating sculpture that was inspired by natural objects. I was inspired by dynamic and modular patterns of orange pulp.

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