Health & Wellbeing
Seoul Metropolitan Government creates the “Yard for Centenarians” at welfare service centers and parks near homes for daily prevention of dementia- Development of a spacial design for physical, emotional and social activities of senior citizens to prepare for prolonged pandemic and super-aged society - Applied to Songpa Senior Welfare Service Center for the first time, 200㎡ scale construction…Mayor Oh Se-hoon will visit the site on the 13th - Exercise equipment to strengthen muscles for performing daily activities, emotional healing area, e.g., gardening and exhibition, social exchange area, e.g., stage and games - An “age-friendly environment,” where people can gain access and live long and healthy in their living areas…Four additional yards by next March
Public Space and Design for Everyday Lives of CitizensCity is an inevitable space of life for the modern people. The skyline that we are currently experiencing, the plaza, parks, natural environments and so forth are mostly the result of the city plan that was systemized in the past, and until now, the urban space was planned to play its role in line with the usage that was planned and defined based on function. Various parts of cities that achieved industrial competitiveness by prioritizing efficiency and economics is far from ‘user-centric approaches’ and achieving ‘sustainability’ that is the focus of today’s society. Future city should be restructured into a space that can enable exchange and circulation based on the needs and the thoughts of citizens or stakeholders of local communities, and aged spaces and the environment should be improved to resolve urban issues.
Resource Circulation of the City and Sustainable DesignThe life system of today’s humanity is the result of economic growth, and problems that major cities face are mainly focused on areas that can be resolved by technological advancement and economic growth, such as poverty and illness. However rapid growth and advancement across the globe led to qualitative diversification of urban issues, and the humanity focused on the concept of sustainable development and limit in growth resulting from social imbalance and unsustainable phenomenon that are being observeds regardless of region. The concept of sustainability was first mentioned in the report, The Limits to Growth written by the Club of Rome in 1972. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED,1987) defined ‘sustainability’ as ‘development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’, and it is recently being used broadly across economic, management, climate, environmental and national policies and private activities.
Public design for people, cooperative public designDesign has always evolved as a meaningful means to achieve an objective or a part that is required in the society. Currently, active efforts are being made to resolve the issues of economy, environment and safety through design. In the recent times where we are transcending the era of industrialization to usher in the era of sustainability, design that improves the competitive industrial products is beginning to contribute to our society as design that improves public values as a part of the strategy to resolve problems from the perspective that design is changing in line with the demand of the society. ‘Public design’ is playing a leading role at the center, and from now on, 'design' will resolve a considerable number of issues that our society will face, and it will be making various contributions as a cultural pillar of life.
Cities, Design, and the FutureIn 1999, the Clinton administration proposed the ‘Livable Communities’ initiative and emphasized the quality of life as an urban competitiveness. Cities that are ‘great to live in’ or ‘appealing to live in’ are without a doubt one of the policy priorities of all local governments and citizens. However, compared to the previous practice in which the policies focused on a materialized life in the physical space of a city, the ‘quality of life’ is an abstract concept that is perceived differently by people. Thus, forming policy agenda around the idea may not be so simple. Instead of focusing on the physical concept of a city, drawing attention to residents and understanding communities as a group of people who reside in a city are crucial when it comes to the dialogue on the quality of life in cities. In this sense, it’s important for residents to identify themselves as agents of living and active participants who plan their own lives.
Senior life in the era of Ageing societyAccording to the World Population Ageing 2020 published by UN, the Ageing population that consists of those who are 65 years old and older has reached 720 million people in the world as of 2020, and is predicted to account for 1/6th of the global population in 2050. Our society is also at the brink of entering the super-aged society as the baby boomer generation transferred into the elderly population starting from 2020. The expansion of the ageing population could be seen as a result of a natural phenomenon in the midst of the extended life expectancy of human on the back of advancement in the medical science and technology. The change in the demographic composition is a critical factor that determines the future of humanity. In particular, since a dramatic change in the demographic structure such as ageing can lead to various changes in the local community, global efforts are being made to seek out multi-angular countermeasures to ageing.
Strategy to expand cognitive health designCognitive health design project, which is one of Seoul’s representative design policies to resolve social issues, began in 2014 to apply the design that reflects the physical, emotional and social characteristics centered on residential environment of senior citizens to respond to aging society and sudden growth in the elderly with dementia. The concept of cognitive health design that may rather be unfamiliar to the general people is connected to a series of processes that allow us to see objects, acquire information and make judgement in our daily lives. There are cases where people face unexpected accidents or where functional abilities decline due to aging during the lifetime of humans, and there are also situations that are difficult to be resolved in the medical field. Seoul’s cognitive health design project that can act as a guide in such circumstances is a project that enhances the maintenance and enhancement of cognitive functions such as declined memory, concentration and orientation capability of senior citizens through contents involving physical activities, stimulation of the five senses and social exchange, for the first time in Korea.
Health of the residents and city shelter in the post pandemic eraThe pandemic that dramatically changed the daily lives and the work environment across the globe is going through a recovery phase in all metrics. Experts have predicted that the humanity will have daily lives that is different from the period prior to the spread of Covid-19 based on the New Normal (Standard that is newly emerging with the change in the era) phenomenon that resulted from the prolonged spread of the infectious disease, and as such, many cities and citizens started to face a new life.
What is the significance of the brand called Seoul to you?Portland, New York, or Berlin Personally, I have never been to Portland. However, since a few years ago, lifestyles that is known as ‘YOLO life’, and ‘Kinfolk life’ have emerged, and Portland, was mentioned as one of the representative cities. Portland was perceived to be a city that acknowledges open mindsets and lives, as well as one that is filled with a feeling of relaxation while being a little slow, and not a city that is artificially made and attempts are made for improvements and change. Of course, this is the result of successful city branding. This is why I am treasuring the Portland mask that I received as a gift from an acquaintance who recently visited Portland. Another keyword that is currently being mentioned as much as ‘design’ is ‘branding’. Branding is a topic that is widely used and with importance almost at the level that it can be applied from branding products to corporations, and from individuals to cities and countries. This proves that it is not something that simply ends after having experienced and consumed it, but there is a growing interest and understanding about who I am, what I am consuming or experiencing, and for what purpose. Thus, the example of Portland that I just mentioned before is very strong even if it is a small experience. Our experience in recalling a certain image, brand or a representative spot immediately after hearing the name of a certain city like New York, Berlin, Milano, Davos, or London is the result of city branding (whether we are conscious of it or not). Seoul Design International Forum that was held through Zoom on March 31st was both timely and appropriate in that ‘city brand’ was chosen as the design paradigm. In the forum that was held under the theme of ‘Design trend and direction of policy’, ‘Value of Experience Design in City Brand’, in particular, (Speaker: CEO Choi So-hyun of Perception) triggers us to think about what is required for ‘city branding’ while pointing out the context and meaning of city brand to us, in the current times, where there is a deluge of ‘branding’.
A safe space for medical care that boosts resilience and recovery for allIt's been two years since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare professionals have been battling the virus. As the pandemic prolonged, we have been practicing social distancing and self-quarantine in everyday life for the past two years. The unusual situations which people never experienced before became a new normal, and physical distancing and the Stay Home Stay Safe campaign were implemented to minimize direct contact with other people, which ushered into the “Untact” era. Meanwhile, frontline healthcare professionals that treat patients with COVID-19 are directly exposed to the virus and having a very challenging time. Healthcare workers have been known to have a very high level of stress and fatigue even before the pandemic, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the huge demand exceeding the capacity of healthcare systems, and healthcare workers were put under extreme strain due to overwork and chronic stress.
Mini studios for meditation at the center of busy city; Calm City & BEtime in New YorkEveryone wants to live well, mentally, and emotionally, and build and maintain healthy relationships with families and other people in life. Also, people value intangible achievements in life and strive to live a better life each one desires. Unlike in the past when people wanted to have more material wealth, indicators for “living well” have changed, so people in modern society started to recognize the importance of balancing material wealth and emotional wealth, which increases attention on how to live well and plan well for the end of life. In addition, the world’s population is aging quickly and causes various social problems including a change in the demographic structure, family breakdown, increase in single-person household, etc. and new controversies arise, which is shedding a light on not only living well but also dying well, a concept around better quality of death at the final moments of life. In Korea, the concept of dying-well or well-dying was discussed as part of living well which was one of 30 major programs proposed for the study to establish a Basic Plan of Social Problem-Solving Design of Seoul Metropolitan City (2021-2023). The proposal established a master plan of key projects about developing a probe-kit that would facilitate reflection on past moments in life and digital content and improving citizens' mental health, and Seoul City is working with various institutions to promote “dying well” in the society to help citizens prepare for a meaningful end of life.
We Solve Problems Around Us on Our Own! (2)When a case of a child abuse is reported, the abused child is separated from parents, needs to wait at a police precinct or police station to undergo an investigation and has to live in a child protection agency. During this process, the child feels uneasy and stressed by unfamiliar spaces and people. In addition, the child may feel the guilt of causing this situation by his or her own fault. “Hoya Toto” was devised as a solution to resolve the anxiety of abused children in the unfamiliar environment by forming a bond with police officers.
Crime, School Violence, Stress, Obesity... Can We Find Solutions Through “Design?”Narrow and complex alleys where criminals could hide and flee easily were improved with healthy community content. This region formed a strong bond among residents by closely cooperating with the community service center, district office, and police. “A” is a 31-year-old office worker who gets scared on the way home from work late at night. The shanty town crowded with old houses has somehow become gloomier after the termination of the rebuilding project. “B” living in Gasan-dong, Geumcheon-gu, is in a similar circumstance. “B” feels bleak to walk in a place packed with houses and small factories where there is no one else in sight. The way to go home, the most comfortable place, became the scariest route. In response to this unfortunate paradox, the SMG prepared for a realistic countermeasure with “design.” This solution was derived from the process of changing the scariest route to an enjoyable route, gathering residents, and letting criminals know.
Increased Happiness Index: Reduced Stress With a Change of Design.Korea is the Republic of Stress. According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs in 2016, over 90% of adults are stressed in their everyday life. In the 2016 Seoul Survey, over 53.5% of Seoul citizens responded they felt stressed in the past two weeks. As such, stress is becoming increasingly generalized and chronic in the lives of contemporary people, but there is no definite measure to avoid stress. Based on this idea, the SMG planned “stress-free design” as a part of the social problem-solving design in 2016. By breaking away from the conventional method of improving the physical environment and providing material support, the SMG attempted a new public policy to take care of mental health. The purpose is to lower stress faced in each life cycle and situation and bring healthy life to individuals and society by improving factors that hinder the mental health of citizens through design.
Social Problem Solving Design, Reinforcement of Resiliency Capacity Through DesignThe COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that no one has ever experienced. Existing social problems, such as economic recession, relative poverty, increased depression due to social isolation, and the intensification of suffering experienced by vulnerable groups such as infants, young children, the elderly, and the disabled, are being exacerbated by the pandemic. Medical staff and other members of society in various fields are making every effort to identify and deal with unpredictable situations in their respective positions, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government is also currently doing its best to overcome the Corona situation. We are now living in an era where problem-solving strategies are needed more than ever. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in policy to prevent and improve social problems that incur huge social costs, rather than reactive measures. Design is one of the main solutions to improve this, and it is a core competency and process that is already being used by many organizations and companies pursuing innovation as well as the public as a tool for solving problems. Through the social problem-solving design policy, the Seoul Metropolitan Government breaks away from the microscopic view of physical improvement and applies design to the overall municipal administration, designing a plan and process for problem-solving, and jointly solving it with various stakeholders. ‘Social resilience’ can be said to be the interaction between the vulnerability of a city and its resilience capacity. The vulnerability of a city is affected by many social problems inherent in the city, and the city's recovery capacity means the city's resources and systems that can overcome and solve these problems. Seoul Design wants to work together to increase the resilience of society so that our daily lives, which have been changed by non-contact, isolation, and social distancing, can be more closely connected.
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.
Considerations regarding healthy city after COVID-191. Statistical figures on the status of coronavirus outbreaks by city in Korea Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in South Korea on January 20, 2020, the coronavirus has spread rapidly in Korea, peaking on February 29, 2020. Since then, there has been a rapid re-spreading trend twice up to October, and the capital city, Seoul, has 53.13 confirmed cases per 100,000 population, the third highest number after Daegu and Gyeonggi-do.
The Change of Daily Life, Social Problem Solving Design in SeoulParadigm change in public design and the emergence of social problem-solving design Seoul is the political, economic, social and cultural center of Korea. Korea industrialized in a short period of time due to a period of rapid economic growth that is sometimes called the ‘miracle on the Han River’. Although the brand value of Seoul might have risen, has the quality of life of citizens improved along with it?