10 Questions With... Sooshin Chin | Eastman Innovation Lab

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10 Questions With...

10 Questions With... Sooshin Chin

06 December 2016

At the Eastman Innovation Lab we look to our fellow design and materials experts for inspiration, community, and expertise. In order to get to know them and their projects better, we created a column called Ten Questions With...

With over a decade of experience in both industrial design and as a design educator, Sooshin Choi has found his rightful place as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College for Creative Studies. Chin began his career in the Korean automotive industry. He has served as a director and a leader of Fursys, lloom, and DEKA. He started his official career as an educator as the Associate Professor and Coordinator of Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati and continued on to become the Vice President of Education for IDSA.

What is the College of Creative Studies known for?

The College of Creative Studies is known for the quality of education in design and art. Mostly we are known for automotive design and product design.

What is most challenging about teaching design?

Teaching design is really complex, because there are some things you can teach and there are some things you cannot teach. As design educators, we need to make sure that we are challenging and inspiring students and new designers to create.

What is a day in the life of Sooshin like?

My main responsibility as the Provost at the College is making sure the quality of education in my college stays high. My other goal is to prepare for future lessons of design.

What’s the next project or product that you’d be most excited to explore?

As a designer I am really thrilled to see the next chapter of design, because design in the past was about the product and how beautiful they are. Now I see that products are a reflection of the culture, society, economics and our world. 

What are some themes that you find yourself addressing over and over again?

Making things happen is a concept that I find very important. Designers are so good at making things, but actually making them happen, to bring a new paradigm to society, is a constant tightrope. I push kids to create things that are between tangible and intangible.

How do materials matter to you?

As long as we have physical bodies, materials are very important. I want materials that make people feel something.

Who is doing work that you find inspiring?

The people who can find ways to use the internet to connect others. The internet is like discovering a new world. People using it for good and to fill voids is inspiring.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

10 years ago I’d tell myself not to settle in your comfort zone. My whole career has been trying to stay out of my comfort zone.

What technology excites you?

Making technology more and more human is a big challenge, but really excites me.

What is your go-to reference book?

Funny thing, my references are usually children’s movies. They give me a lot of lessons as an adult, as a designer and as an educator


Coffee or tea?

I like both

Droid or IOS?


Kindle or book?


Sketch or build?


What are you reading right now?

The Bible

What sites of social media do you go to for inspiration?

Facebook is very interesting