GWANGJU, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- The Gwangju Design Biennale kicked off its two-month journey in the southern city of Gwangju on Friday to explore and experiment with innovative design ideas under this year's theme, "humanity."
Running till Oct. 31, the design festival will bring together 650 designers from 50 countries and 120 corporate entities.
Some 1,130 works of design will be put on show through major exhibition venues in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, including the main Gwangju Biennale exhibition hall and the Asia Culture Center.
This year's event will encompass a special exhibition, an academic forum and activities on top of the main exhibition, delving into the fundamental values and role of design and proposing a design vision for sustainability and humanity.
The opening ceremony set for Friday evening at the plaza in front of the main Gwangju Biennale exhibition hall will officially open the event with a special media art performance.
This year's main exhibition specially features the centennial celebration of the founding of the Bauhaus, a landmark design school in Germany, with a special exhibition hall dedicated to the anniversary.
Companies including Kia Motors, Hyundai Motor, Mohenic Garages and Louis Quatorze will display design works focused on connecting humans and technology.
The main exhibition also includes creative works by 100 design students from England's Nottingham Trent University, the Paris-based National Higher School of Decorative Arts, South Korea's Chosun University and other schools.
The International Design Poster Exhibition, a special show on the sidelines of the 2019 Gwangju Design Biennale, will bring together poster designs by 466 designers from 37 countries.
Another special exhibition to be held at the city's Eunam art gallery will feature design proposals for the flag of a united Korea in a bid to highlight the long-running security issues on the Korean Peninsula.
With the theme "Warm Design for All," the event's academic forum will bring together experts and scholars from at home and abroad while Audi Volkswagen Korea will host a joint workshop with Bauhaus, according to the organizer.
This year's special exhibition wing has doubled in size from the 2017 edition as the organizer of the Biennale seeks to align the design festival to Gwangju and regional economic growth. In that vein, the organizer will link foreign buyers with regional designers and entrepreneurs in the city.
"Gwangju Biennale is seeking to expose obstacles to the path to establishing a human-centered society and propose solutions to them through the viewpoint of innovative design," the design festival's Director Lee Gil-hyung said.
"The Biennale seeks to propose that the value of design for the future lies in a communal ideology in which (designers) seek a common goal and have the role and function of each sphere (of society) play out," he noted.
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