Korean electrical and mobile phone giant LG Electronics will relocate its Milan design studio to London next year, Design Week can reveal. LG’s choice of London as a design hub follows moves to the capital by Samsung and Nokia.
LG Electronics Design Milano, a satellite studio of LG’s main Korean headquarters of design, the Corporate Design Centre in Seoul, will be based in London from 2008. The full details of the move have not yet been announced, however.
‘We can confirm that the studio is moving,’ says a spokeswoman for the manufacturer. ‘We don’t know exact dates yet, but it will be 2008. We don’t know who will be heading it up or how big the team will be.’
The role of Milan’s industrial design unit, which was established in 2002 and is part of LG Electronics Italia, is to conduct design and research for the European market. It’s not known if staff from Milan, such as design manager Matt Ryan, will be relocated to London.
LGEDM is one of five satellite branches of the LG Electronics Corporate Design Centre, while the other four are based in New Jersey, US; Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; and New Delhi, India. The studio in Milan focuses on industrial design, design research, design identity and new product development. Its location is understood to emphasise European design and style within a global design strategy. LG rival Nokia opens its London design studio this week, signalling a new direction for its global design operations under chief designer Alastair Curtis. Some 120 Nokia designers and branding personnel are being relocated to Soho this week, to take up residence in Great Pulteney Street, W1.
The studio has been designed by MoreySmith over the top three floors of the five-storey building, which previously housed Microsoft. The London opening follows closely behind the opening of a similarly sized design studio at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland.