Life Design for Well-Leaving through Well-LivingLife design for well-leaving through well-living is a very significant theme for all of us to understand. Through this presentation, I would like to share my personal experience regarding care design at the final stage of life and further discuss how such design can be proposed as a policy
Design that draws a new worldYou may remember the controversy, which took place between the right and the left sides in 2019 when the Republic of Korea commemorates its 100th anniversary, on the question whether the year 2019 is the 100th anniversary or not. However, when the first year of another centenary began in 2020, there was no proposal of ideology or vision for the next 100 years despite the controversy in the previous year. I thought that it just goes that way. Then, COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world, creating radical changes as if the pandemic cleans up the world.
The Process and Outcomes of the COVID-19 Design ChallengeInsights and Applications for the Post-Corona Era; The start of a design challenge related to COVID-19 Design has great power. Design has the power to motivate people to do many things, such as taking action, creating products and services that make life simple and rich, and deriving a whole new experience. Designers basically carry out design work assigned to their organizations, but in addition to these daily tasks, they have the power to solve the world's biggest problems. I expressed these ideas in the keynote speech last August at the Design for America Summit, where I urged designers to solve the biggest challenges facing the international community through a bold approach. And it wasn't long before the COVID-19 virus outbreak, which had effects worldwide. I thought that there must be a solution that designers can bring to meet the huge challenge of the Corona crisis. After discussing how we should contribute to this challenge by making a difference together with like-minded people like World Design Organization’s Srini Srinivasan and Rebecca Breuer and Liz Gerber of Design for America, we decided to launch the COVID-19 Design Challenge and bring the designer community together. Our starting point was to reach out to designers in each community and ask them what challenges they might face with COVID-19. Altogether, there were over 180 challenges, and they were recorded on Post-it notes and categorized according to themes. We grouped the related ones together and marked them on the priority grid in order of high impact and urgency, considering whether it is a task we need to address, what impact it will have, and whether it can affect urgency and resolution.
Special Interview: David BermanLet me answer with a story. In the summer of 2008, I had the honour of meeting Mayor Oh Se-hoon at Seoul City Hall as part of the Seoul International Design Forum for which I had travelled from Canada for. On the way to the event, my first time in the city, I was struck by how integrated the design disciplines were. I recall saying to a colleague “When we were in China, we were saying they are catching up with us. In Korea, they have already blown by us.” Why? In Canada, the design disciplines were siloed: here in Seoul, they were delightfully integrated, both horizontally and vertically: from alphabet to surface to building to infrastructure. To discuss one without the others simply didn't compute, and I wondered “How is this done”? The answer came when I was introduced to the person to the Mayor’s left: their business card read “Chief Design Officer”. At that point in my career as a speaker, I had travelled to over 40 countries, and this was the first time I had heard of a City having a CDO. This explained how Seoul was doing such an impressive job of integrating the design disciplines. Ever since, in many travels, I have shown that card as evidence of a keystone to excellent design governance ... to any government clients who would listen. Here in Canada, we have our design strengths that are admired by others, such as our leadership in inclusive design, our national flag, and many other proud habits. However, every time someone in our government asks me how we can maximize the value of design I tell them it all starts with what Seoul has done: every major plan should be vetted by a CDO in the C-Suite, sprinkling design thinking into every project charter.
Online Platform as a center for Seoul DesignThe boundaries are becoming blurry. The restriction of time and space and the limit of subjects no longer apply when solving common problems and creating new value. Nowadays, various subjects, including online and offline environments, virtual and real worlds, industrial and public domains, and city governments and citizens, are preparing for the future in different areas. The new dimension of energy manifested from combinations that jump over the boundaries is a catalyst to solve daily problems and solidify the city that provides the base for everyday life.
Universal Design Paradigm and Universal Design CitiesOn March 30, 2007, 82 UN member countries signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the world’s first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century. The CRPD adopts the principle of equality and non-discrimination to safeguard the dignity and rights of all individuals with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities. A total of 182 countries ratified the CRPD as of December 2021. Given that there are 196 countries, 93% of the adoption rate is quite impressive. UN highlighted the success of the CRPD as ‘a paradigm shift ,’1) while WHO in 2002 changed its view on disability from the medical model to the social model. The former regards disability as a personal matter and the latter sees disability in terms of milieu. With such changes, people started to perceive disability as a social issue rather than an individual problem and understand that ‘environment’ is a powerful impact factor either ‘enabling’ or ‘disabling’ a person. As a consequence, designers needed to embrace a new approach, shifting from special designs for the few with physical disabilities to inclusive design for all. Some designers believe that design can be considered ‘good’ when it satisfies different needs of people. On the other hand, many creative designers instead applied ‘universal design’ to come up with winning global applause. The CRPD also specified ‘universal design’, coined by an American architect Ron Mace, in the action plan as ‘design of products, environments, programs, and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.’ This propelled many initiatives to cultivate and advance the universal design paradigm in our society.