Houston, TX

Gerald D. Hine College of Architecture and Design Community holds virtual farewell for their founding director

Jackson Cutler

Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture BuildingWikimedia Commons

HOUSTON, TX — The founding director and professor of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design's industrial design program, EunSook Kwon, has decided to move to the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Industrial Design, where she serves as the chair. As a form of respect, students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the college held a virtual get-together on June 24 to share stories and say goodbye to Kwon.

In the sharing session, ID professor Mark Kimbrough said, “I first met EunSook over 24 years ago while serving on the jury for the International Design Excellence Awards. I remain continually and deeply impressed, but never surprised at her remarkable record of achievement and leadership within our ID program.”

“Beyond her obvious skills as a designer and educator, her credentials reinforce her drive for constant innovation in creating a curriculum adaptable to the transformative nature of the industrial design profession,” he added.

Similarly, student Antoinette Louw '20, commented, “EunSook brought perfection and inspiration to the ID program at UH. She taught us that design should be a passion coming from the heart and a way to better the world around us.”

When starting her role at Hines College in 2003, Kwon was given the task of building the Bachelor of Science Program in Industrial Design — the first program of its kind in a four-state region — under the direction of former dean Joe Mashburn '78. Ten years later, in 2013, Kwon launched the Master of Science program.

In her statement, Kwon said, “The ID program was established to realize a student-centered education based on constructivism. This was my education philosophy in creating the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design curriculum and pedagogy, which was later also applied to the personalized curriculum for the Master of Science in Industrial Design program,” said Kwon.

Thanks to her leadership, Hines College was announced as the best ID program in the United States and worldwide. Red Dot ranks the ID program number 6 across the nation and number 14 worldwide.

During her leadership as ID program director for 18 years, Kwon has contributed to bridging gaps and linking students with industry, including collaborations in recent years with NASA, Texas Children Hospital, and Texas Medical Center.

“I have shared my personal philosophy of living with students to keep pushing (ideas, opportunities, boundaries, and limits). As a woman, I have kept pushing my limits and opportunities, which has helped grow the ID program for the last 18 years. What an amazing journey this has been,” Kwon continued.

In 2018, Kwon and her husband established the first scholarship to support ID students, EunSook Kwon and SunJin Kim Scholarship.

For the past 30 years, Kwon has been recognized as a driving force in the industrial design community, outside her occupation at Hines College. Last year, the Korean Women's Design Association awarded her the Proud Korean Women Designer Award.

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