Civil Rights & Education
2020 Seoul Design International Forum - Universal Design2020 서울디자인국제포럼
Diffusion of Universal Design Culture: Seoul Universal Design AwardThe SMG was the first public institution to promote industries related to universal design by establishing the Seoul Universal Design Award (SUDA) and holding its first public contest in 2021.
Good Environments Make the Youth Emotionally Healthy“Social problem-solving design” that changed our everyday life — youth problem-solving design The social problem-solving design project of the SMG that began since 2011 has undergone a transition from a “policy-centered” design to a “human-centered” design by proving its effects and receiving the attention of residents. Accordingly, the SMG started the design project in 2014 to solve problems faced by the youth, such as school violence, emotional anxiety, digital dependency, and peer relationships. The first step was the school violence prevention design project which sought points for improvement by analyzing various causes of school violence. The project name was changed to youth problem-solving design in 2018 as its scope has been expanded from school violence to other youth problems that are regarded as social issues. In particular, the necessity of the project emerges from the fact that problematic behaviors of the youth are worsening in terms of the quality and diversifying in terms of the types and targets. There is an urgent need for a solution that considers the developmental stage of the youth and regional characteristics. The youth problem-solving design project of the SMG will be examined by focusing on six representative cases of youth problems.
Impact and evaluation in designing social innovationWhat is the most important agenda in social innovation design? This island metaphor (image) is useful to think about designing. This metaphor helps us to pay attention to both the visible things at the surface, like design products, materials, methods and technologies, and also the invisible things under the water, like values, behaviours, mindsets and worldviews. Designing is a way to make what is invisible under the water, visible. For designing that pursues social outcomes, it is very important to pay attention to people’s values, behaviours, mindsets and worldviews under the water, and undertake designing that materalises what people regard as valuable outcomes for their social well-being. When designing social innovation, this also means listening to local communities and residents, and understanding what matters to them that may be invisible, under the water, and collaborating with them to materialize those values as outcome of designing. There are various tools, methods and approaches in design that are used to achieve those social outcomes together.
Challenges and Tasks of City of SEOULThere are numerous definitions of universal design by experts and scholars. Among the definitions, I think The University of Buffalo defines universal design best: "A design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation.” Universal design is not a result, but rather a process of making. In this context, through various projects, the city of Seoul is implementing universal design that involves the public, solves everyday problems, and ensures that no one is marginalized. Each and All, between individuality and versatility, how can a design for a particular person become a design for all?
Solving Diverse Common Social Problems of Seoul through DesignSeoul is an old city where people first began living 6,000 years ago. During the Joseon Dynasty, the capital was enclosed by four gates, but under Japanese rule, the Japanese government established the Governor-General for 36 years of colonial rule. Afterwards, during the Korean War, Seoul was bombed and the city was turned to ashes. Despite all these difficulties, Seoul joined the OECD in 1996 through rapid economic growth that is called the miracle of the Han River, and in 1988 Seoul introduced itself to the world by hosting the Olympics. Such economic development brought benefits, but on the other hand, it brought the negative problems that go with large cities such as environmental pollution, overcrowding, traffic problems, and social problems. In terms of design, signboards that cause visual pollution in the city center, unplanned skylines, and environments covered with obstacles remain yet another challenge for Seoul to solve.
Creative Design for Social Problem Solving and Social Responsibility TherethroughThe top 10% of the world's population are able to spend $10 a day (about 10,000 won). This means that the other 90%, being unable to spend $10 a day, are very poor. 80% of them spend only about $2 a day. Design is not about making things pretty and beautiful to increase sales, but about finding and solving problems in a certain situation. Solving problems in an innovative and creative way is an essential part of design. Which group has more problems in life: the 10% of the population who can spend $10 a day or the 90% who can't? The 10% of people have issues with desires, and 90% have issues with needs. In other words, 90% of people have problems that are directly related to survival and they need to be considered more seriously. But 99.9% of designers only design for the top 10%. The real social problem is to leave it alone and only engage in the problem of fueling human desires.
Universal Design Policy in SeoulSeoul's design policy has been in place since 2007. The city’s design policy has been trying to make a cleaner and more sophisticated city, through measures such as improving signage and reorganizing facilities. From 2008 to 2010, the Seoul Design Olympics were held, and in 2010, Seoul was selected as the World Design Capital. For the past 10 years, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has implemented policies focusing on facilities for the disabled through its building certification system for the convenient city life of a wide variety of citizens. With the design policy based on these legal standards, the comfort of citizens has been improved, but it centered on the disabled, and there were cases where public in general was not taken into consideration. This was part of the background for Seoul introducing universal design. The composition of Seoul citizens is also diversifying. As of 2016, the elderly population in Seoul was about 1.28 million, 12.5% of the total population, and by 2027, one in five people is expected to belong to that category. As the number of foreign visitors and the multicultural population continues to increase, this is also becoming an important consideration in Seoul's policies. The diversity of citizens requires more consideration, and Seoul introduced universal design to respect the diversity of all citizens.
Universal Design City, SeoulThe city of Seoul started an urban design project in 2007. Within the signage maintenance project, public facilities that were chaotically installed on the streets were integrated, and efforts have been made to transform Seoul into a cleaner and more sophisticated city. The Seoul Design Olympiad, held from 2008 to 2010, was a comprehensive design festival that showed the will and vision of Seoul to challenge beyond design. In 2009, the Seoul Design Foundation was established to support projects such as the operation of the DDP, design research, commercialization, and international events. In 2010, Seoul was selected as the ‘World Design Capital’. ‘Seoul Design Week’ has been held yearly since 2015, to revitalize the design industry by holding conferences, expositions, exhibitions, and markets.
Seoul Universal Design 100The concept of urban design that we share today can be found at the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty when Great Monk Muhak planned the city by applying the philosophy of Yin and Yang Five Phases at the time, while looking at Hanyang Land with Lee Seong-gye. The traces of urban design that began in this way entered modern times and established an image of a city that combines the past and the present, and we can see traces of this urban design in old palaces, and walls throughout the city. These days, the urban landscape around us remains in the past only, or there are misleading examples of creating a desolate forest of buildings without harmonizing with nature in a biased appearance with only modern beauty. As a city is a place where various people live together, the design should also be created by various people. The most important thing here is the citizens, the actual 'users' of the city. Changes in urban design can begin with the question "How did you consider city users?"