City for Disabilities going for tour and cultureFrom the point of view of mobility-impaired wheelchair users, barrier-free design and universal design are quite different. As Korea is heading towards becoming an aging society, it is expected that the demand for accessibility will increase. The gap must be filled through the application of universal design. Urban life for the mobility-impaired The way in which the mobility-impaired people use the city is very different from that of the non-disabled people. Typically, there is a difference between infrastructure and daily needs. Because disabled people using wheelchairs have difficulty using public transportation, it is common either to use an adaptive taxi that can accommodate a wheelchair or to reduce the frequency of going out. Therefore, mobility is limited, and long-distance movement is impossible, so connection between regions is significantly reduced. Most mobility-impaired people have a great fear of moving out of their place of residence. There are also differences in the way they move. Many older subway stations do not have elevators because the anti-discrimination laws did not apply in the past. In fact, it's only been a few years since wheelchair users have actually been able to ride the subway since related laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) started to take effect. Stairs were removed, escalators were installed, and facilities were installed to allow wheelchair users to move between floors. In addition, there is a problem in that information about the location display of the disabled toilet or elevator is not properly given due to lack of awareness of the versatility of the information acquisition method. This is usually a problem caused by the fact that supplier-oriented guide signs are made, and people with mobility difficulties, travelers with language barriers, and tourists with difficulties feel the inconvenience.
Universal Design Project for Convenient Spaces: Public RestroomsThe Republic of Korea is experiencing radical demographic changes, such as the super-aged society and an increase in the foreign population. The public sector is obliged to create comfortable spaces for parents to go out with infants as well as an environment for seniors, persons with disabilities, and children. Recently, public spaces have been improved with the acknowledgment of diversity and the reinforcement of legal regulations. However, laws do not regulate details of small-scale unit spaces, which have low priorities when it comes to spatial improvement. For example, the SMG remodeled many aged community service centers during the “‘Outreach Project for Spatial Improvement of Community Service Centers,” but restrooms were not included in the scope of this project. As such, Seoul has built and improved good spaces, but it excluded small-scale spaces like restrooms. Among diverse spaces, restrooms, in particular, are crucial for solving physiological issues. Therefore, restrooms should be available at any place. Though Koreans tend to allow people to use restrooms freely, many restrooms in old buildings of Seoul are not open to the public. Accordingly, the Design Policy Division of Seoul and the Seoul Universal Design Center (“Center”) selected restrooms, places with an urgent need for universal design among small-scale unit spaces, as the first target for improvement, as well as a target for the “Outreach Project for Spatial Improvement of Community Service Centers.”
The Innovative City for the Next Generation(the MZ Generation): Advancing Towards Ultra Connectivity and the Real WorldSpace defines an experience. At a café, we drink a beverage. In a museum, we see exhibits. People have the same experience at a specific space and sometimes need to stand in a long line. No one think this is weird. On the other hand, for spaces in a movie or a video game we enjoy on a daily basis, a content defines an experience. The main character may stay in a space where a fantasy adventure unfolds or where characters play cat and mouse with each other in a spectacular event. The same space can be a world where so many stories turn into reality. What would happen if the two worlds are merged into one? What would happen if our world turns into a huge playground and all of us become main characters of an exciting story? What would happen if you can share the experience you have had in a movie or a video game with people in a real world? To prove these hypotheses, I would like to guide you to a space which was once an unattractive neighborhood filled with factories and vehicles but is now a must-go place for MZ generation, and a space where once dull and inactive places have become popular spots for a lot of visitors and even a city-wide festival.
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.
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?
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.