The following blog post was written by Yik Chun, who went on a study trip to Korea.
For the first time, students from the Diploma in Interactive Media Design and the Diploma in Visual Communications shared a study trip abroad. It was definitely an eye-opener as we mingled across courses and learnt more about what is involved in each other’s course. Of course, we also made new friends and formed closer bonds with existing ones.
The places we visited were really eye opening:
Namsangol Hanok Village
We first visited the Korean Folk Village, where we saw the different kind of homes people of the past lived in and how different architectural attributes represented different classes in their society.
We were fortunate enough to witness a traditional dance with synchronised head movement, air flips and an acrobat who performed while balancing precariously on a tightrope.
We also had the opportunity to take home a piece of Seoul’s history with us at the souvenir store with very endearing Korean ladies at the front door dressed in the traditional hanbok, welcoming us into the store with warm smiles.
National Museum of Korea
The Museum had 3 whole levels filled with prehistory, ancient history, medieval and early modern history of Korean culture, Asian art like sculpture and crafts as well as more than 800 donated works from benefactors from all around the world.
One of South Korea’s leading telecommunications companies, we took a tour of SK Telecoms’ museum where they displayed the latest technology available to their mobile users, and also gadgets that were still in development.
On display was virtual reality and interactive components (like a driving simulator and a shopping simulator that puts the clothes on a 3D model of your body) which saves precious time when shopping! Among these gadgets was also a corporate responsibility component where they had developed a touch-screen application for the visually impaired, which made use of sound to make interaction possible. These were definitely things that we would want in our home and it was an eye-opener to the many possibilities in which design could be integrated into our daily lives.
The highlight of the trip was the interactive component where each of us got a personal companion known as the T.Me that would guide us throughout the tour of SK Telecom. Guided by infrared, it would move where the phone was pointed to and was also capable of interacting with the exhibits. This is definitely something that I would want to remember!
Universities, Tomorrow Gallery, World Expo
Our next stop was Hongik University.
They had an ongoing exhibition of an artist’s work, and it really amazed us to see how much attention was given to the details, right down to the lighting of the work in order to give it maximum effect.
This was preceded by a tour of the university’s facilities, where we got a chance to see some of the students’ works and some of the students at work!
We then headed to Seoul University where students and professors explained the rationale behind some of their projects. We also had a chance to tour the school facilities.
Just look at the amount of editing for one piece of work! We really gained a lot of respect for Korean students that day after seeing how hard they worked.
On the same day we visited the Samsung Green Tomorrow Gallery, where they had built a house that was both comfortable and extremely eco-friendly, in the hopes of showcasing the many possibilities of eco-friendly housing.
Our last stop for the trip was the World Expo in the seaside town of Yeosu. Apart from the fantastic view and the sea breeze, we got a chance to see how countries were doing their part to protect the oceans, in line with the theme of Water for this year’s expo. We did not have time to explore the whole Expo but what we saw definitely left a lasting impression.
How could anyone miss out on traditional Korean cuisine while in Korea? We got to taste a wide variety of delicacies such as the bibimbap (hot stone rice), ginseng chicken soup, kimchi stew, spicy rice cake, cold noodles, grilled mackerel, raw seasoned crabs (A specialty in Yeosu) and of course, authentic Korean barbeque!