An international advisory board has been created to provide market insight and guidance on the development of South Korea's first major design center, to be constructed by 2015 in the city of Guri just outside of Seoul.  

An international advisory board has been created to provide market insight and guidance on the development of South Korea's first major design center, to be constructed by 2015 in the city of Guri just outside of Seoul.

Leading design, architecture and manufacturing firms as well as other industry consultants have been selected to participate on the board to help facilitate the creation of the proposed $30 billon mixed-use project. Components of this project include the Guri World Design Center for expositions, as well as condominiums, hotels, retail, parks, a design university, a monorail system and more. Board members were selected for their leadership positions in the global design markets for hospitality, commercial and residential, as well as their business acumen, expertise and talent.

The inaugural meeting of the Nature, Culture and Design (NCD) 2015 International Advisory Board was held on Oct. 20, 2010, at the Waldorf Astoria, New York City. Michelle Finn, vice president of Nielsen Exposition's Hospitality Design Group, was elected as chair of the board. With Nielsen's strong sense of community, innovative approach to trade show development, analytical research and a keen understanding of the fusion of real estate and marketplaces, the company has been tapped to primarily consult with the development of the Guri World Design Center and supporting trade shows and events.

“We are thrilled to be involved in the prestigious NCD 2015 International Advisory Board to advise in the development of one of the largest mixed-use projects in the world,” said Finn. “The Guri World Design Center will ultimately provide the tools and resources to architects, manufacturers and marketers from across the globe that wish to engage in the rapidly growing Asian market.”

In the inaugural meeting, the board elected vice chairs Larry Carver, president of Carver & Associates, and Chang Kuk Ko, president of K&C Associates, who has been instrumental in the implementation of the NCD 2015 International Advisory Board. Officers and committee chairs were also nominated and elected. Board members went on to discuss how companies market their products in Asia, projected growth trends and elements needed for the Guri World Design Center to succeed; this board will report directly to the City of Guri.

Also in attendance were influential Korean government officials including New York consul general of the Republic of Korea Ambassador Young-mok Kim and City of Guri mayor Young-sun Park. During the board meeting, Park unveiled his vision to transform the city into the new design hub for Asia.

“I am honored to have such an influential group of design-industry leaders to help craft this vision of linking design with nature, culture, history, entertainment, education and living,” Park said. “On behalf of the City of Guri, I wish to thank Nielsen and the talented international business leaders on the board for their dedication to building Asia's new design capital.” 

Representatives from leading design and architectural firms and manufacturers were present at the meeting, including Andreu World, Aqua Hospitality Carpets, BBG-BBGM, Callison, Crypton, D-Ash, Design Continuum Inc., Fabricut, Flexsteel, Global Allies, HBA, iWORKS, J&J Industries, The John Hardy Group, KNA Design, Maya Romanoff, Olive Hospitality Consulting, Pierre-Yves Rochon, Rockwell Group, RTKL Associates, Sealy Global Hospitality, Stonehill & Taylor, Valley Forge Fabrics, WATG Hospitality Architects and Wilson Associates. John Portman & Associates senior vice president Gordon Beckman, who was commissioned by the City of Guri to create the master plan, presented a model of the design city accompanied by a presentation.

The next board meetings are scheduled for April and October 2011 in the United States (dates and venues to be determined).

Nielsen also announced it will be producing the first Architectural, Design and Development Conference in Seoul, South Korea, March 16-18, 2011. The conference will provide the Korean design, architecture and development community insight, inspiration and information on global architecture, design, development and investment in Korea though tailored educational sessions and customized networking events. More information, please contact Michelle Finn, vice president of Nielson's Hospitality Design Group, at