PyeongChang: toward a leap for public designThe Rio Olympic Games have come to an end. All Koreans wished for great performances for the Korean athletes competing in the international sports festival.
The Olympics is a sporting event where the best athletes from around the world get together and compete, and at the same time, it is also a grand cultural exchange where countries promote their national image. The uniforms and attire of the athletes contain symbols and images for each country. It is a rare opportunity to compare the design caliber of the participating nations.
The team uniforms that Korean athletes wore for the opening ceremony were chosen as the most stylish uniform at the Olympics. They were inspired by the hanbok, traditional Korean dress, in a functional and sophisticated design.
Koreans have used the Olympics to improve Korean design to international standards. The 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics brought significant development in public design. Spaces were given new meanings, and urban environment renovation began. Infrastructure for public facilities such as road signs, parks and sports facilities started to have public sensibilities. This accumulated public design largely contributed to Seoul’s rise as an international design city.
With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics approaching, developments in public design enhance the international status of Korean design and strengthens our cultural competitiveness. The Korea Craft and Design Foundation has chosen Pyeongchang as one of the public design project sites, remodeling the exhibition and public relations spaces for local cultures and specialties and creating cultural community spaces for local residents. The project focuses on making Pyeongchang’s beautiful and unique local culture a global cultural and tourism showcase representing Korea.
To make public design competitive, the central government, local authorities and governments need to make efforts. But above all, people need to have interest and affection for the space around them and constantly work to improve. Just as we cheered for the national team in the Olympics together, we also need wisdom and effort to spread Korean culture in every space we use together.
President of the Korea Craft and Design Foundation