26 October 2010

Seeing the world from the East

Be the first to share

Green Seoul
Last week I was in Seoul, South Korea. My third visit. And it struck me again how fast Asia, and South Korea in particular, is moving economically, and hence also in the design field.

Being in Seoul, you don’t notice any crisis. Construction is everywhere. Growth is tangible. And change is fast. While last year, the city was grey and full of concrete, now the City Government, headed by a self-proclaimed “design obsessed” Mayor, has moved to fill every available space with trees and green. On a massive scale – Seoul’s metropolitan area has 25 million inhabitants – it makes quite an impact and boosts the city’s quality of life. Even bicycles and bike paths are starting to show up in this car-crazy city.

This rapid change will continue and as UX-designers we need to be aware of it. As Keoun “Ken” Nah (interview here), Director-General of Seoul World Design Capital and design management professor at Hongik University, told me over a glass of wine: “We have been giving design thinking courses to CEO’s here and it has been very successful. We have a very smart class of CEO’s . You tell them to read a book, and when you meet them again, they have read five.” Ken by the way moved back to South Korea after a thirteen year stay in Boston, because he “missed Korea’s more dynamic environment.”

Koreans are learning fast and will add their own distinct approach to the design field. The problem they have is language. Not much of what goes on there in the design field is reported on in English language media, which tend to focus on the Western world, and the few other places where we understand the language: India, English and French speaking Africa.

Donald Norman is one of the user experience thought leaders who senses the power of this 50 million person nation and now spends quite some time teaching at KAIST, South Korea’s top science and technology institute, where he is a visiting professor. Also the intenational acclaimed LIFT conference has been hosting a South Korean edition for a few years now.

Much can be expected still from this nation of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo. More thoughts soon about Korea’s design developments when I come back from the Busan Design Week in mid-November.

Be the first to share
25 September 2016
Three new reports on behavioural science applied to policy making
European Commission There is growing recognition that behavioural insights (BIs) – by shedding light on how people actually make choices – help deliver more effective policies and complement traditional forms of intervention. The Behavioural Insights Applied …
18 September 2016
Better decisions by design: applied behavioral science
Can we design a decision aid that gives us health information we need and counters our biases so that we end up more knowledgeable and confident in our preference? This is the challenge that …
18 September 2016
Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic on the home of the future
Jasmina Tesanovic (previously) and Bruce Sterling did a residency at The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD (San Diego, USA), working with the students on design fiction and futurism. The residency …
5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing
The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to "transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and …
4 September 2016
Cognitive bias cheat sheet
Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment. Buster Benson has tried to arrange the rather exhaustive lists of cognitive …
14 August 2016
The psychology of scarcity: what behavioral economics can teach design
Eldar Shafir, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and coauthor, with Sendhil Mullainathan, of the book Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives (Picador, 2013), talks …
31 July 2016
Examining cultural need: discussing design anthropology with Amélie Lamont
Designer Erin Lynch recently interviewed Amélie Lamont, a NYC-based design anthropologist, and the result is quite stimulating, particularly also on the topic gender and racial gaps in the design industry. According to Amélie, "design anthropology focuses …
31 July 2016
Can ‘user experience’ experts become ‘customer experience’ experts?
For those of us who are puzzled about what exactly the difference is between UX and CX, Toby Bottorf, principal at continuum, situates the difference as one of scale: "The difference is one of scale. You’re …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016

This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of ethnography to create transformative innovation, growth and strategic success for companies, industries and communities. On the second day of […]

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

See all articles