Tangerine & Partners opened an office in Seoul, South Korea last week, as part of a move by the consultancy to broaden its reach across Asia.
Located in the central Gangnam district, the office will be headed by vice-president of design for Asia, Don Tae Lee. The group hopes to grow the office’s sales and marketing and project management team, while creative staff remain based in the UK.
The group has worked with major Korean brands such as Samsung Electronics for some years, says Tangerine managing director Martin Darbyshire, and is also working with a number of new clients, which he declines to name.
Darbyshire anticipates that the office will enable Tangerine to take advantage of lucrative government contracts, which are only available to organisations with a base in the country.
The group chose Korea because of its central location in the Asian region and because the country’s government is committed to changing perceptions of its products by focusing on design rather than lowest cost, he adds.
‘The country is surrounded by low-cost economies like China and India and has aggressive plans to drive its economy using design to create differentiation, enhance product quality and build its brands,’ Darbyshire explains.
Tangerine & Partners comprises brand designers Applied Information Group, human factors specialists Davis Associates, trends forecasters West 6 and strategy group Viadynamics, in addition to the product design group.
Darbyshire says this collaboration will enable Tangerine to broaden its reach beyond product design to a wider client base.