When the average person enters a rental space, it is unlikely that they are going to be able to determine how it would need to be structured to host an event. Whilst things like lighting and seating arrangements may come to mind, there are several elements that may not strike them as being important. For instance, what sort of audio-visual requirements will the event require? Will there be presenters? Will they need microphones? Will they need a projector, or a laptop, or specific cables? How about catering… will there be a meal served? If so, what sort of linens will the table need? Will the guests need water, or soft drinks? Once all of these minor details are covered, the main focus lies in how best to design the space in order to captivate an audience. For most events, the design space can make or break the mood of its attendees. This is why, companies looking to host up-scale events typically turn to highly skilled designers to carry the fate of their event along a path of greatness. They need designers like Bonnie Park, who see the world through a different lens. For creative minds like Park, the design is in the detail and with a will like hers to succeed, there are few limits on what she is capable of achieving.
“When I was younger, I was always interested in making things. I would look at an object or a space and I would visualize in my head how I would do it differently. I remember sketching and making collages from the ideas in my head. When I attended school in Switzerland, I was often invited to friends’ houses on long weekends and it was so interesting for me to see the way they lived. The architecture and designs were much different than what I grew up with in South Korea. From chalets in Switzerland to beach houses in Spain, every different type of aesthetic would catch my eye. It was all about the little details and the way these places were decorated. They were charming and it made me so curious to explore the design world for myself,” recalled Park.
In 2012, Park embarked on an internship with the large design company, CS Global. CS Global is a worldwide agency that delivers strategic brand consulting and integrated production, design, film, and lighting services for live event, print, digital, television, and travel retail. When Park began her internship, her superiors were certain of the value that she could bring to their company. Her potential shone through her designs during her early days with the company and after just ten short days, they offered her a permanent position as a full-time designer. She was honored by the request and eager to accept the job. Fast-forward five years, and Park now works as CS Global’s Design Director and she is more passionate than ever about the work that she does. In her role, Park is responsible for grasping the vision of her clients and determining how best to execute them in order to bring their dreams to life. She has provided services to large scale companies like Tiffany and Co., as well as Tom Ford, La Perla, and many more. Whether she is in charge of planning and designing for a gala dinner, a press preview, a photo shoot, or any other request that she receives, Park devotes herself entirely to ensuring that her clients are not only pleased, but blown away.
Park’s process typically includes meeting with her clients, having her clients share their ideas and their goals. She extracts any information she possibly can in regards to the mood and feeling that her clients want their guests to experience. Once she has a thorough understanding of her clients’ wants and needs, she begins to brainstorm with her design team, her producers, and her lighting designers to take their vision to the next level. For this reason, her job requires far more than a keen eye for design. She also relies heavily on her communication skills to ensure that everyone involved in executing the event is kept up to speed and on the same page at all times. She ensures that everyone from scenic vendors to engineers are working within budget, with appropriate technologies, and keeping in time with the latest trends in the industry. She is an advocate for her clients wishes and she will stop at no lengths to make sure that they are more than content with the final product. In addition to pleasing her clients, Park strives to keep her team members inspired and motivated to share in her enthusiasm about each project that they work on. Joseph Lucius, for instance, who collaborated with Park for an event for the fashion mogul, Tom Ford, considers himself fortunate to have been able to experience working with such a well-versed, positive influence.
“Few, in my experience, display the perfect marriage of exquisite taste, flawless precision, and unwavering dedication – with the exception of Bonnie Park, who exhibits all of these qualities in spades. Bonnie and I have enjoyed the glamorous trenches of some of the industry’s most exclusive events and throughout each and every project we worked on, Bonnie was a source of positivity and inspiration. She has the ability to execute incredible work while maintaining a positive and light-hearted demeanor. With Bonnie, there is no shortage of innovative and out of the box ideas and that, coupled with her drive, makes for truly exemplary work. She is like none other and, although we no longer work side by side, I would welcome any opportunity to partner with her again. Simply put, she elevates anything she touches,” stated Lucius.
When she worked for Tom Ford Beauty, Park was tasked with designing a space for the 10th anniversary of Tom Ford’s Black Orchid perfume. She had the distinct pleasure of transforming a seemingly regular gallery space with white walls and wooden floors. Using her expertise, she transformed the space into an elevated, high end pop up for guests to be able to immerse themselves in the ten-year journey that landed Black Orchid in the prestigious position that it holds today. The aim was to immerse the company’s guests into a world of Black Orchid and Park did so with exceptional ease. Using video projections and peekaboo walls, guests were able to navigate through a world they had never known to exist. Guests were blown away and where there are happy guests, there are happy clients.
Park’s unwavering drive and unprecedented talent make her no stranger to this sort of praise she received from Lucius and her guests. She has earned herself an astonishing reputation and maintains a position at the top of her field. Despite being humbled by the recognition that she receives from her colleagues and her clients, Park continues to work hard and seizes any opportunity for growth. She prides herself on her progress to date, but aims to acquire new skills as she continues her work as a Design Director. One day, Park hopes to own her own design studio and continue in her lifelong efforts to give her clients unforgettable experiences. Now, more than ever, whether she is working with CS Global or in her own studio, Park is determined to inspire through design and touch lives through her work.
Photo by Ruvi Leider