Heewon Lee is an industrial designer and design educator with a strong focus on creating and facilitating design education programs within humanitarian and developmental contexts. As a member of the MIT D-Lab Humanitarian Innovation team, Heewon's primary mission is centered around building creative capacity among refugee boys, girls, and women in Athens, Greece through his collaboration with the local NGO Faros.
At Faros, Heewon played a pivotal role in establishing the Horizon Center Design Program, a vocational and innovation center with the core objective of equipping young refugees with creative problem-solving skills by teaching them the design process. Beyond skill development, this program has had an even more profound impact by instilling newfound confidence in the refugee youth, rekindling their hopes and dreams for a brighter future.
Originating from South Korea, Heewon pursued a master's degree in Interaction Design at the Umeå Institute of Design. He further expanded his academic journey by undertaking PhD coursework at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST). Over the years, he has actively engaged in projects encompassing product design, interaction design, and graphic design.
In addition to teaching at MIT, Heewon teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Beyond his professional commitments, he finds enjoyment in rock climbing and the restoration of automobiles during his leisure time.