"Sean Yoo is a textbook example of the multi-cultural, globally fluent designers of his generation. He is an American of Korean origin, who was raised and educated in Los Angeles, and is now living and working in Matera and Milan, Italy. Infusing his design skills with his eclectic backgrounds, he has been working on designs that are rooted in utility but can transcend cultural boundaries. And as one of the handful of American designers working in Europe, he has quickly amassed a diverse group of international clients including Design within Reach, Casamania, Jongform, Sur&Plus, Frighetto, Felicerossi, Calia Italia, Next Maruni and Steelcase Inc.
Passion for design came to him later in his life. After graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a degree in urban planning, he had worked as a city planner for many years. It wasn’t until he visited the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City that he realized his purpose in life. He promptly quit his job, sold everything he had and returned back to school to study design. He graduated with honors in 2000 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a degree in industrial design and after a successful debut at the 2001 Salone Satellite, he decided to launch his studio, Apt 5 Design with Angela Tarasco.
In 2002, he became the first non-Italian in 20 year award history to win the prestigious Concorso Young & Design Award, which honors the best young design talents working in Italy. He has also won numerous awards including several I.D. Annual Design Review Awards, IWF Design Emphasis Award, Design Report Award, and the Grand Prix Award sponsored by Next Maruni of Japan. His projects have been published in 2003 and 2004 International Design Yearbooks and his work is frequently featured in Metropolis, Interni, Abitare, Elle Décor, Bravacasa, Blueprint, DDN, Ottagono and I.D. Magazine. In 2006, his work was selected by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affair and the Design Museum of Milan to be included in the I.DoT (Italian Design on Tour) 2006-2007, a juried exhibition that selects, certifies, and promotes the best of contemporary Italian design products."