2023 Seoul Design International Forum 'Seoul Mind Garden Guro Family Counseling Center where you can take care of a healthy mind'

Hello, I'm Lee Ju-young, and I'm a supporter of the 2023 Seoul Design International Forum.

Today, let's check what Seoul Design is and the Mind garden that applies Seoul Design with me.

What about Seoul Design International Forum?

The Seoul Design International Forum is held every year.

The 2022 Seoul Design International Forum held last year was a forum under the theme of "Design x Seoul: How Design Enrichs the Future."

Through various urban examples, we were able to learn how design can be combined with municipal areas such as welfare, culture, and transportation.

The 2023 Seoul Design International Forum "Humanizing Cities: Human, Design, City" is

with global designers, architects, and experts, you will be able to learn about the role of public design as an "urban alchemist" who can promote new experiences in the public realm, create memories, and even drive the city's competitiveness through collective memory.

What is Seoul Design?

It refers to the design version of Seoul that enhances the competitiveness of the city and allows everyone to lead a happy life in response to the challenges faced by the community due to various global issues. The definition of Seoul design is as follows.

- Develop creative and sustainable design solutions to solve various problems in everyday life to create a safe, convenient, and win-win urban environment.

-Leading the world city with innovative technologies and designs that reflect the city's unique characteristics.

-Increase the attractiveness of the city by increasing the number of unique design contents in everyday life to meet the sensitivity of citizens and provide impressive experiences.

-We aim for a design community where many people, including experts, industries, and citizens, participate and think together.

If you want to know more about Seoul design policy

You can find it in the link below: https://www.sdif.org/html/ko/seoul_design.php

Then let's go to the Mind Garden, a place where you can check out Seoul's current public design!

Guro-gu Family Center, Seoul

Guro-gu Family Integration Support Center, 35, Uma 2-gil, Guro-gu, Seoul

I went to the Mind Garden on the 2nd floor of the Guro-gu Family Center.


Seoul-style mind care counseling space

Mind Garden (2nd floor of Guro-gu Family Center)

What kind of place is the mind garden?

While the importance of mental health has emerged as a top social issue in the post-COVID-19 era, negative perceptions of mental health medicine visits are decreasing and demand for psychological counseling is also increasing. Due to the poor actual environment of use, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has paid attention to these social issues and created a Seoul-style counseling space, Mind Garden, to improve the quality of counseling services through design and help recovery and change.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has created a Seoul-type counseling space to help citizens strengthen their mental health immunity and realize happy daily lives, and is carrying out the "Stress Relief Design" project every year to realize a healthy life for individuals by improving various stressors that citizens face by life cycle and situation through design.

It is said that Mind Garden was named as a place to escape, "It will be a charging station that sometimes encourages courage, a place to give you a heart to cope with stressful situations, and a place to plant small seeds of courage." Currently, it is applied to five places, including Gangseo Orang, Seoul Youth Center, and I visited the Guro-gu Family Center "Mind Garden."

If you look at the interior space of the Heart Garden...

Looking at the existing counseling space before applying Seoul Design, there were physical and psychological problems in the field of counseling space that prevented counselors and clients from opening their minds and having intimate conversations.

existing problems

- Overall, a distracting, rigid interior

- a tight area for a long consultation

- Concerned about noise and privacy infringement due to location adjacent to office space

These problems were identified, reviewed the operating system with stakeholders in the consultation space, and reorganized from the user's point of view, such as checking spatial problem factors during consultation, and as a result, Seoul was able to design the space as a healing stress free zone that combines "space psychology elements" and "healing content."

After applying the design

1. an accessible environment

2. a pleasant indoor environment

3. a psychological stability environment

4. a consultation-focused environment

5. safety-considered environment

6. An environment that can relieve self-stress


The Mind Garden was developed as a counseling space consisting of two types: 3.5 pyeong and 5 pyeong for citizens suffering from stress.

We have created an environment where counselors and clients can focus on counseling, and we have created an optimal environment for the full recovery and change of clients by applying environmental psychology-based stress relief factors that comfort the five senses such as lighting, color, fragrance, sound, and props.


- The gable roof at the entrance gave the impression of being cozy and welcoming, giving space independence, and aroused curiosity about the interior space.

- We created a mini garden at the bottom of the exterior and felt happy. In addition, you can see the natural blocking of noise from the outside by installing speakers that can hear birdsong.

- To increase the sound insulation effect, one of the top priorities for the consultation, you can see that the ceiling is finished with sound absorption panels and the wall is finished with sound insulation plaster.

- In preparation for safety such as unexpected situations, windows were installed on the side so that outsiders could only see the back of the counselor without making eye contact with the client when checking inside.

- There were green to help with emotional stability, turquoise curtains, and fabric sofas, which were mid-tone blue to help with calming and courage. The warm and bright wood-tone film and the off-color wallpaper finish made me feel comfortable.

- It created an atmosphere that was not inconvenient to talk about intimate stories, and there were glaring indirect lighting and spot lighting that could be adjusted for illumination as needed.

- Diffusers with a scent that relieves mental and physical stability and stress are placed, and you can feel comfortable and peaceful.

- You can see that a "media landscape window" has been installed by creating a virtual window, and this "media landscape window" has created a healing space where video, sound, and illumination are harmonized by using "media meditation," which enhances brain ability and helps mind training as a stress relief content.


특히, 5가지 자연테마 중 내담자가 희망하는 자연풍경 모드를 선택하면, 미디어 풍경창을 통해 자연풍경을 자연의 소리와 함께 감상 하실 수 있습니다.

In particular, if you select the natural scenery mode that the client wants among the five natural themes, you can enjoy the natural scenery with the sound of nature through the media landscape window.

The effect of the Mind garden props

Plant therapy

- It's an indoor environment, but I felt like I was in a small garden, and if necessary, it's a flowerpot with a sense of season.

Sound therapy

- The sound of the nature theme can be chosen by the client, and you can feel the effect of offsetting internal and external noise with white noise.

book therapy

- It consists of healing books in various categories such as travel, gastronomy, gardening, and art, so you can use it freely before/after counseling and during breaks.

fragrance therapy

- You can feel a sense of stability with a herbal blending scent that helps stabilize the sense of smell and mind, which plays the biggest role in the first impression of space.

Tea Therapy

- You can enjoy tea therapy according to your preference by using the tea and tea set provided on the shelf.

The advantage of Mind Garden 

The mind garden was proven to have a positive effect on relieving stress, improving stress resistance and substitution ability, and relieving depression. After entering the counseling room, the clients who had visited the mind garden were very surprised and more satisfied and comfortable with the counseling. The previous existing counseling room was frustrating because there was no window, but the clients said they felt as if they was looking out of the window and felt refreshed because there was a screen window. The clients visited in a depressed mood, and their expression was brighter thanks to the natural video and birdsong.

After I went to the mind garden

What I saw and felt after visiting the Guro-gu Family Counseling Center in Mind Garden is that there are many situations in which there is still no guide to counseling space in Korea, so spaces such as Mind Garden need to be continuously supplied in the future. By visiting the mind garden, I felt like I had been to a shelter in the city center where I could take a breath in the modern society. Sometimes, it is expected to be used as a charging station that fills the space of courage and mind, and on the other hand, it can be actively used as a space to heal the wounds of the mind caused by stress and relax.

Through this visit, I realized that the effect that interior design can have on people is great, and I was able to relax after visiting the space.

Why don't you go to the mind garden if you want to get some worries or a break from your mind?

[2023 Seoul International Forum on Design]

On September 14, the 2023 Seoul Design International Forum will be held as an online and offline forum on the 8th floor of the main building of Seoul City Hall.

Please register in advance and participate a lot.

It would be nice to find out about the various designs that change the city of Seoul.


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