August 17, 2023 Kim Named ASID Ones to Watch Scholar

Hojung Kim, assistant professor in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s School of Interior Architecture, has been recognized as a Ones to Watch scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The program recognizes rising leaders in the industry from underrepresented populations and minority groups who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a willingness to push the boundaries of the profession.

“An opportunity like this is helpful to put my research agenda and establishing a network with individuals in the industry together,” said Kim.

Hojung Kim, an Asian-American with short, dark hair. He is wearing a white button-up shirt and a dark jacket overtop.

In 2019, Kim joined the College of Architecture and Design after garnering practical expertise through diverse design and project management positions at renowned firms in Los Angeles, New York City, and Seoul. His research aims to address architectural challenges experienced by marginalized communities. Through an interdisciplinary approach, Kim explores cultural, socio-economic, and environmental concerns that span from urban planning to interior design.

He has been heavily involved in the school’s efforts to develop global competency in students, by exposing them to a variety of diverse social, geographical and cultural contexts. Kim led pilot studies such as the first multidisciplinary-binational collaborative studio with the Universidad del Sur in Argentina, a binational collaboration with an architecture school in South Korea, and future plans involving research, travel and studios in Vietnam, Thailand and Chile.

“Hojung has been instrumental in making our goal a reality,” said Milagros Zingoni, director of the school and Kim’s nominator for the award. “His diverse background and cultural experiences and previous work as a professional architect, makes him a strong advocate for global catalyst experiences to educate the next generation of designers.”

As one of two awardees in academia, Kim believes that he can provide an academic approach to interdisciplinary work.

“The professional industry focuses on what a client wants most of the time,” he said. “By using an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach with individuals outside the design field, we are having discussion and investigating some of these cultural, socioeconomic and environmental issues.”

As a Ones to Watch scholar, Kim will take part in a two-year leadership development training focused on leading with authenticity through experiential learning, coaching, and mentoring. In the first year, scholars learn to leverage and embrace their unique perspectives and backgrounds to excel in their careers. During the second year, they are elevated and positioned as thought leaders in the industry.

Kim believes mentoring will provide better connections that could be leveraged for future students to collaborate with industry leaders.

In his application essay he said, “by embracing cultural diversity and creating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, I hope to foster an international relationship with the universities abroad to widen student’s perspectives, innovative and socially responsible approach to design.”

He was presented with the award at ASID’s national conference earlier this month in Los Angeles.