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Samsung's newly hired design chief hails from Jony Ive's old studio (update)

Billy Steele
January 15, 2015
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Samsung may be looking for a design overhaul soon, and it picked someone from the outside to lend a hand. Lee Don-tae is the Korean tech giant's new global design chief, who will report to Samsung Electronics President Yoon Boo-keun and work from the company's Design Management Center. Lee Don-tae is a former CEO of Tangerine, a London-based design studio founded by that once employed none other than Apple's aesthetic guru Jony Ive. His work includes He was a part of the team that developed an S-shaped redesign of the British Airways business class cabin, a layout that created enough space for the seats to lie flat.

The company shuffled its design staff last May too, following the lukewarm reviews of the "defiantly plastic" GS5. A Samsung official told Korea JoongAng Daily that Lee would lead the overall design of products, including smartphones. While it sounds like the projects will include more than just handsets, we'll have to wait and see just how involved Lee gets in the company's massive family of gadgets. If you've been hoping for a different look to the Galaxy S line, though, you may soon get your wish.

Update: A spokesperson for Tangerine clarified that Jony Ive was indeed one of the first people at the company, but he wasn't a founder. Lee Don-tae was a member of the team that worked on the British Airways redesign, however Creative Director Matt Round was primarily responsible for the concept. The text has been updated to reflect this.

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