[2023 Seoul Design International Forum] Enjoying nature and the leisure of life in the heart of Seoul, “Open Songhyun Green Plaza Soul Drops Bench”

[2023 Seoul Design International Forum] Enjoying nature and the leisure of life in the heart of Seoul, “Open Songhyun Green Plaza Soul Drops Bench”

Hello everyone! I am Choi Jiwon, who has been active as a supporter of the [2023 Seoul Design International Forum (SDIF)]. 

I am a person who is interested in spaces and lives that give people healing and leisure as innovative ideas in the public realm. 

I applied for the supporter with a strong will, and I am grateful that I was accepted.

From now on, I would like to introduce you to the “Seoul Design” that allows you to take a break from your busy daily life, refresh the world, and enjoy a human-centered city and life, and “public design places” that reflect Seoul Design.

What is Seoul Design?

Seoul's design vision is to address the challenges facing communities around the world and to enhance the city's competitiveness and create a happy life for everyone.

Seoul Design is based on four principles:

First, it develops creative and sustainable design solutions to solve various problems encountered in daily life, creating a safe, convenient, and mutually beneficial urban environment.

Second, it leads the world by reflecting innovative technologies and the unique characteristics of the city through design.

Third, it increases the number of distinctive design contents in everyday life, satisfying the emotions of citizens and providing an impressive experience to attract the city's charm.

Fourth, it aims to create a design community in which many people, including experts, industry, and citizens, participate and think together.

I know that just explaining it like this won't be enough, so I've prepared some examples of actual design news.

I hear that a Seoul Metropolitan Government public facility has won the top prize in the product category of the iF Design Award, which is considered one of the three major design awards in the world!

That's right!

The Soul Drops bench in Open Songhyeon Green Square, Hangang Park, has raised the reputation of Seoul design.



[Soul Drops Bench] is a water-drop-shaped bench that was completed with the advice of experts in various fields, including public space, product, and visual design.


Q. Isn't it just a chair with a unique shape?

A: beep -.- No, it's not!

As part of the FUN design project, the planning background and benefits of the Soul Drops Bench are endless, as follows.

Planning Background

1) Reflection of the results of social situation analysis after COVID-19

- Psychological changes: Psychological depression occurs due to social distancing.

- Changes in outdoor activities: Hope for daily outdoor activities increases.

- Changes in outdoor spaces: The use of everyday leisure spaces such as vacant lots in apartment complexes and community parks increases.

- Therefore, a design that allows flexible social distancing is needed to reflect the changes in daily outdoor activities and leisure spaces after COVID-19.

2) Reflection of the results of the analysis of the users of Hangang and stream parks

- Purpose of visit: Used as an outdoor activity space for various purposes such as exercise, rest, and event participation.

- Visitor usage behavior: Used as a space for leisure culture such as picnics and cultural arts experiences in addition to walking and exercise.

- Visitor companion type: Actively reflects new leisure activities centered on young people in their 20s and 30s and families.

- Therefore, a design that reflects the culture of everyday waterside spaces along with sensory and unique leisure activities is needed.

3) Reflection of the increasingly diverse forms of outdoor leisure activities

- Stools, sunbeds, lounge sofas, etc.

- Five modules with different seat types


1) Provides opportunities for natural views, relaxation, and a poetic experience of Seoul's cityscape

2) Uses ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC), which is strong in design and durability.

-> Easy to clean and maintain even when installed in waterside areas where frequent flooding occurs.

3) The bench has a central drainage hole to drain rainwater.

-> Can be used immediately after rain.

4) Has the structural safety required for the structure, so that it is not lost even in frequent flooding in the Han River.

5) Can be designed in a fun way for Seoul's public spaces, as it can be made of various materials such as plastic and can express various colors.

"The winning of the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award is a symbolic meaning of winning two international awards, and it shows that the results of the design projects promoted by Seoul have been recognized internationally." -Kim Hyun-jung, Chairman of Seoul Public Design Promotion Committee-

"This is a meaningful award that leads to the improvement of the quality of Seoul's public design, and it will be an opportunity to get closer to the daily lives of more citizens with design and enhance the status of Seoul as a city of emotional appeal." -Choi In-gyu, Seoul Design Policy Director-


I actually sat on it, and I could fully enjoy the temperature of Seoul and the cityscape while being very comfortable.

I also enjoyed the fun of finding a bench to sit on the desired size and height or the desired view.

I felt that the bench, which can play the role of a rest stop in the middle of a plaza that is too large to keep walking, is very delicate and beneficial.

I felt that each design in Seoul that connects people and the city could be the main reason why people love and visit Seoul.

If you visit <Yeonhui Songhyeon Green Square> or <Hangang Park>, I hope you will definitely feel the charm of the [Soul Drops bench] and the scenery of Seoul!"

To learn about the present and future of Seoul design and to better understand "inclusive cities" and "future emotional cities," what forum can we be interested in?

That's the "Seoul Design International Forum."

What is the Seoul Design International Forum?

Starting with the 2013 Seoul Universal Design International Seminar, over the past 10 years, we can see the growing image of the design forum at the [2023 Seoul Design International Forum].

In addition, by presenting changing keywords for the present and future of Seoul and cities every year, it presents Seoul and Seoul design in a new role.

For those who want to read more about the history, news, and related interviews of the Seoul Design International Forum, and those who are interested in the forum, I recommend you to refer to the official website link below. 



Seoul Design International Forum

This is the Seoul Design International Forum platform, which is held online. This platform will be reorganized as a forum for sharing information and knowledge on public design and Seoul's design policy in the future. Please give us your attention.

So, what was the theme and content of the [2023 Seoul Design International Forum] held this year?

What is the 2023 Seoul Design International Forum?


Humanising Cities_ Humans/Design/Cities

Under the vision of "Humanizing Cities," which is too often perceived as obvious but not prioritized, we held a time to discuss how our city, Seoul, is currently being highlighted.

We invited the world's leading designers, architects, and experts to discuss this.

In addition, through this forum, we provided a venue to gain strong insights into the role of public design as a "city alchemist" that can stimulate new experiences in the public realm, generate memories, and strongly drive the city's competitiveness through those collective memories.

It is no exaggeration to say that today's cities are the most powerful online and offline platforms that enable hyperconnectivity. Through the Seoul Design International Forum held on September 14, 2023, we had a precious time to imagine and apply innovative ideas to the public realm together.

For those who unfortunately missed this opportunity or are interested in public design,

I hope you will not miss the "Seoul Design International Forum" that will be held next year and gain a lot of insights. 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. I will answer them quickly and accurately.

This concludes the <2023 Seoul Design International Forum>.

I am "Choi Jiwon", a supporter of the <2023 Seoul Design International Forum>.


Thank you for reading my incomplete article. I hope you will continue to pay attention to the <Seoul Design International Forum>, the <Yeonhui Songhyeon Green Square>, and <Seoul Design> in the future.

Thank you!


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