Jinsop Lee is an industrial designer who believes that great design appeals to all five senses.

Why you should listen

A former professor of design, Jinsop Lee founded the firm Uncle Oswald Is My Hero, which produces clever iPod speakers from old telephone handsets. And we'll let him take it from here:

"My design background began when I was 5 years old. My mother cruelly refused to buy me a Star Wars X-wing fighter, so I built my own from Lego. Yes, I was the traumatized little boy in the corner of the playground holding the multi-coloured Lego X-wing fighter. However, this did teach me an important lesson: You don't have to follow the instructions that come with the box.

As an adult, I started my career as a suit-wearing design consultant, designing stuff and strategies for large companies. I then spent a mandatory two years in the Korean Army without killing anybody. Then I began teaching English, which eventually led to a job as an associate professor of industrial design. Being a professor means you're designing the most important thing of all: students and the type of designers they will later become.

"Now I am working on a series of short videos about industrial design. Each video follows a simple formula: the viewer must learn something new about design while laughing (or snickering) an average of two times per minute. It turns out the second criteria is much harder than the first."

What others say

“As a designer this guy has given me so much to think about.” — Owen Moss on TED.com

Jinsop Lee’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Jinsop Lee


The 5-senses showdown: How to grade your experiences

August 6, 2013

Sight. Sound. Touch. Taste. Smell. We all know the five senses by heart and yet, points out designer Jinsop Lee in today’s talk, few products and experiences tick all five. And thus he created “5 senses graphs” to grade objects on how well they play to each of our assorted senses on a scale of […]

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Quoted at TED2013: Julian Treasure on five-senses design

February 28, 2013

Julian Treasure watches out for the ears. In the four TED Talks he’s given so far, he’s offered up “5 ways to listen better” and “Sound health in 8 steps.” At TED2013, we asked him: What speakers have given you the best auditory experience so far? It was nice to hear Jinsop Lee today talking […]

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Why is sex so damn good? Jinsop Lee at TED2013

February 27, 2013

Jinsop Lee is here at TED to ask a very important question: Why is sex so damn good? The audience laughs, but the playful designer is making a serious point. Great sex, and great design, is about the five senses and how and when we use them. Lee tells us the story of a university challenge […]

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