While the Modern Atlanta exhibit will highlight Korean designers, an Atlanta-based firm is making its mark in the country. John Portman & Associates designed a landmark project in Incheon, South Korea that includes a 151-story tower.

An organization that hopes to catapult Atlanta into the global spotlight for modern design is showcasing Korean architecture at its annual conference.

Modern Atlanta hosts the Design Is Human event each year to teach the public how design and architecture impact lives and help build sustainable communities.

While Atlanta has some strong assets like the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Design Atlanta, a campus of the Savannah College of Art & Design and a bevy of world-renowned architectural firms, the city is not well-known as a design hub around the world, said Elayne DeLeo, a co-founder of Modern Atlanta.

Opening local eyes to global creativity and putting the city in front of the international design community requires bringing in overseas talent, she told GlobalAtlanta.

Modern Atlanta highlighted Belgium last year and Italy the year before. This year, organizers were inspired to focus on an Asian country ascending the ranks of the design world.

The dots were connected through Modern Atlanta. Last year Bjarke Ingels, the designer of the popular Denmark pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, spoke at the event. 

Bernard McCoy, a Modern Atlanta co-founder, later attended the Shanghai expo and marveled at the massive Korea pavilion designed by Mass Studies, a Korean firm. Mr. McCoy invited Mass Studies founder Minsuk Cho to speak at this year’s event in Atlanta.

“When we start to investigate one area that we’re finding exciting, it just kind of branches off,” Ms. DeLeo said.

Now Modern Atlanta will have a Korean pavilion of its own. The exhibit, designed by New York‘s Manifesto Architecture, will open with a reception June 6 at Two Peachtree Pointe downtown.

Korean Consul General Hae-jin Chun will be on hand to launch the exhibit.

“Korea is on the forefront of global trends and new developments in contemporary design and architecture,” Mr. Chun said in a news release.

With structures inspired by the Korean alphabet, the pavilion will feature the work of 150 Korean architects vying for this year’s MA Prize, which focused on “Architecture By/For/Of Korea.”

The Korea exhibit will be open to the public until June 12, running concurrent with other MA events, including an exhibition of artworks by three Korean artists and a tour of modern homes in Atlanta.

Modern Atlanta will also hold a fashion show featuring the work of Africa-inspired designers to raise money for CARE Inc., the Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to lifting women and children out of poverty globally.

Tickets are $30 and $20 for students. The fashion show has raised more $6,000 for CARE over the last two years, Ms. DeLeo said.

Visit www.modern-atlanta.org for more details and a full list of events.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...