Heewon Lee is an industrial designer and design educator. His work focuses on creating and facilitating design educational programs in the humanitarian and development contexts.
As part of the MIT D-Lab Humanitarian Innovation team, the focus of Heewon's work has been creative capacity building for refugee boys, girls, and women in Athens, Greece at local NGO Faros. At Faros, Heewon helped establish the Horizon Center Design Program, a vocational and innovation center. The overall objective of this project is to develop a holistic design program where the participants can gain knowledge, skills, and mindsets to build confidence, increase their sense of agency and realize pathways through which they can improve their livelihoods.
Originally from South Korea, Heewon completed his master’s degree in Interaction Design from Umeå Institute of Design and worked on numerous product, interaction, and graphic design projects. In 2013, Heewon joined the International Development Design Summit in Zambia and pivoted his career in teaching the design process and methods in formats including academic coursework and short/long term workshops around the world. Heewon is currently a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing and filmmaking.