Born and raised north of Seoul, Sang Won Lee (BS 20 Transportation Design) grew up drawing robots, cars, airplanes and spaceships. “Car design was the perfect future for me,” says Lee.
As an ArtCenter student, he interned at Volvo, Tesla, Hyundai and the design studio of Daniel Simon, the vehicle concept designer for Tron: Legacy and the chief design officer of Roborace.
After graduating, Lee began working at Volkswagen’s Design Center California in Oxnard as an exterior designer on the next-generation Atlas SUV. Even during a pandemic, it’s a dynamic time to be an automotive exterior designer, he says. “Electric cars are becoming mainstream, and trends are evolving rapidly,” says Lee. “We’re envisioning the next wave of design.”
Lee also poured his passion into his own personal designs, like his recent Boramae 00-A concept, an autonomous plane with forward-swept wings that resemble a swan’s. For that project, he imagined jets dodging stone pillars while racing each other in a huge valley. For Lee, visualizing a story is still thrilling.
“I love that first stage of the design process, exploring every option,” he says. “I value the process of ideation the most. With a great foundation, the project can become a terrific saga. It’s like writing a best-selling novel.”