Is picture worth a thousand words?

Japanese draw, Chinese speak, and Koreans write. This is my temporary conclusion about how people communicate in three countries. I *suspect* Japanese draw because they intend to help readers understand messages correctly (receiver-oriented), Chinese speak because they find typing Chinese characters difficult (sender-oriented), and Koreans write because these two reasons do not apply (message-oriented, maybe).    …

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Yido, a successfully modernised traditional Korean pottery

Yido is one of the most widely-known premium pottery brands in Korea. It was found by Yi, Yoonshin, a ceramic artist. As introduced in her website, her work “reinterprets traditional Korean ceramics in refined contemporary design.” However, visiting Yido’s flagship store taught me a few “marketing” lessons how she has successfully established herself in the market. First, she listens to…

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Two different ways to design a better fire extinguisher

Since we spend most of our time in buildings, we are literally surrounded by fire extinguishers. It consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire (Wikipedia). In general, we do not pay attention to them until needed. For me, I have never used any fire extinguisher…

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Standing desk: New way to work

I suffered from minor shoulder – and wrist pain for a long time. In order to lessen the pain, I decided to train my left hand for using the computer mouse a few years back. Certainly, using mouse with my left hand was very challenging in the first couple of years. However, 3-year of intensive practice…

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Electronic Vehicle Charging Station in Seoul

An EV charging station stands in the parking lot at my university. Probably, the department of automotive engineering installed it and owns the electronic vehicle. My first impression about them is that they do not interfere the traffic flow inside the busy parking lot because the charging station occupies a tiny space and it charges…

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Sterilizer in beauty stores

Must buy items in Korea are skin care products. As the Korean entertainment programs including TV programs, movies, and music videos became highly popular in Asia, the beauty products made in Korean enjoy its strong brand power. Many cosmetic stores in Seoul are crowded by foreign visitors. I have noticed in the stores that many foreign…

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Traditional building with a modern twist in Korea

Toronto has many traditional buildings with a modern twist. The house previously used for Rotman Designworks studio was a good example. From the outside, it was a plain three-story house. However, it had interesting modern flavors inside: boards were installed on the white walls, desks and chairs ran on wheels, and newly installed toilette were…

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Paper product by Minimalist designer

People have their own favorite designers. My favorite “product” designer is Naoto Fukasawa. He is well known for the designer of the fan-shaped CD player by Muji. I love his minimalist design so much that I flew for his Tokyo studio, Plus Minus Zero, to consider buying a humidifier for the stimulus of my experimental…

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Rooftop presentation of Seoul history

I attended an interesting event at the Art center Nabi in Seoul. At this event, Robert Fouser, Associate Professor of Korean Language Education at Seoul National University, introduced the history of Seoul with a series of his own black and white photos of Seoul. His Korean-speaking presentation impressed me deeply; his photos remind me of my…

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Container shipping company’s sponsorship for art project

Hanjin Shipping is now ranked as the 8th biggest world-wide shipping company following Maersk, MSC, and CMA-CGM. I have met this name at a museum, MMCA (national Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea). In the middle of the museum stood an eye-popping artwork sponsored by Hanjin Shipping. Although it may take ages for a…

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Studying materials for design

Materials matter. Designers use biological materials to solve trade-off problems (e.g., strong and light-weighted chair). Consumers buy transparent products. When students join the Master of Product Design and Development program in the Segal Design Institute, Northwestern University, they should take Materials Selection course in the beginning before learning about accounting, negotiation, strategy, decision making, and…

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Ski lift ticket: Canada vs. Korea

At the Gleneden ski resort, lift tickets (above) contain full information only on one side. Date, type, and bar-code number are above and the legal notice is in the bottom. Then, skiers fold the other half of the lift ticket over so the sticky sides stick together over the wicket.  Interestingly, at the Yongpyong ski resort, one of the…

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