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Seoul Design Cloud to promote city as design hub of Asia

Seoul is promoting itself as Asia’s leading design hub with a series of design-related events.

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Hosted by the Seoul Design Foundation, Seoul Design Cloud, a mega design event comprising Seoul Design Week, Seoul Upcycling Week and Seoul Fashion Week – different from the biannual fashion event – kicked off Monday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

“With Dongdaemun Design Plaza as the center, Seoul’s design will take a leap. And Seoul Design Cloud will show the way,” Choi Kyung-ran, the head of the Seoul Design Foundation, said at a press event on the opening day.

Seoul Design Cloud is being held at the DDP – which is also being used as the main press center for the inter-Korean summit – through September 26.

“DDP will receive attention (from around the world). We hope that through this opportunity, (the venue) can grab people’s attention,” Choi said.

The 10-day event kicked off with the Human City Design Seoul conference, which discusses the city’s future in terms of design-related aspects.

At the conference, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon spoke as a social designer, suggesting Seoul move on as a design city. A related exhibition is being held at the DDP during the period of the event, introducing cases from 21 cities in which design has made people’s lives better.

Ahn Gi-hyun, the head curator of the exhibition, and his team gathered examples from around the world, and contacted cities to receive videos that are being shown at individual kiosks.

“Seoul See You Tomorrow Pyeongyang” is an exhibition that celebrates cooperation and harmony between the two Koreas and hopes to link the two capital cities beyond physical and political boundaries.

Around 41 graphic designers and illustrators from Korea and abroad participated in creating artworks that imagine what the two cities would be like in 2030, using mainly the colors of red and blue.

Meanwhile, young student designers will showcase 100 new hanbok designs on Sunday at Changdeokgung, with student models wearing the designs walking around the palace garden. The outfits were shown to the public on Monday at a fashion show in line with the opening of Seoul Design Cloud.

During the event period, a market will also be held at DDP to introduce local brands based in the Dongdaemun area, the fashion hub of Seoul.

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With Seoul Design Cloud covering a broad spectrum of design with diverse events, from conferences to markets, questions were raised at the press conference about the identity of the event.

“We have obtained some fundamental results by cooperating with the Seoul Metropolitan Government on the topic of city revitalization,” said Jun Gi-hyun, an official from the Seoul Design Foundation, in response to the question.

“Regarding design, there are numerous things happening. It is our role to show everything to the people, allowing them to be inspired,” he added.