Samsung ropes in new Design Chief from Tangerine, where Jony Ive also worked

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Samsung was not happy with the feedback they received in terms of design for the Galaxy S5. Last year, the company’s head of mobile design Chang Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. But today, it has been revealed that the company is bringing in Lee Don-tae to be its new Head of Design.

A report from Korea Herald stated that Samsung recently hired Lee Don-tae, former co-CEO of London-based design firm Tangerine, as its new design strategist in its attempt to push through stylish design. He will design all of Samsung’s gadgets.

Tangerine was started in 1989 by Martin Darbyshire and Clive Grinyer. Jonathan Ive was one of its earlier employees, who left the company to join Apple after Tangerine had worked on Project Juggernaut for Apple. Don-tae Lee joined Tangerine in 1998 having completed his Masters at the RCA in London.

The 47-year old expert has offered his expertise to global companies like Samsung, LG, Toyota and British Airways since 1989. The company is renowned for having redesigned the business-class cabins of British Airway planes with a new “z-shaped” design that allowed for 20 percent more seats and increased profits.

The report also added that, he would be working to elevate Samsung’s design prowess overall rather than focusing on a specific product. He will report directly to Samsung President Yoon Boo-keun.
In the past, Samsung has been criticised a lot for using plastic designs for their devices, which would offer a cheap feel. As competitors are now offering polished designs, Samsung feels the need to improve. The company launched the Galaxy A7 which focused on a slim design and full metal body instead of the plastic back-casing.

The company is now looking to start fresh with the upcoming Galaxy S6 which will most likely have Lee Don-tae’s assistance in designing.

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