HOW TO BE A GENTLE COMPLAINER IN YOUR URBAN ENVIRONMENT

Sunghyung Cho

suncho1982@gmail.com
926 88 217
behance.net/mydesignsince2007

HOW CAN VISUAL COMMUNICATION HELP GENERATE A DIAGLOGUE BETWEEN THE CITY AND IT’S INHABITANTS?

What problem did you want to work on?

Basically, my project began with the problems of rapid urbanisation, which is a truly worldwide issue. Over the course of the project, I focused in particular on lack of communication between the inhabitants and their urban environment and tried to draw people’s attention to where they live and what’s going on in their urban surroundings.

What did you want to accomplish with your project?

To put it simply, the goal of the project was to build awareness of the urban environment and generate a dialogue between people and their surroundings rather than providing a clear solution. In connection with this goal, I used the key phrase ‘a gentle complaint’, to describe a means of conducting a dialogue, and I carried out a series of pilot projects that nudge users to say something about their urban surroundings. Overall, the results of this experimentation show how a designer can approach an anonymous public to plant an idea and what the key to success is in this kind of project.

What has inspired you?

I’m from Seoul, one of the most complex cities in Far East Asia although my project was carried out almost exclusively in Bergen which is a much more cosy and peaceful city than my hometown. In addition, my educational and professional background is more related to the field of architecture and industrial design than to visual communication. Throughout the process, this background proved hugely influential, and it was inspirational to have a different point of view and deal with the topic of urbanisation as a graphic designer.

How have you chosen to address the task?

As a graphic designer, and also as a complaint architect in this project, I have tried to invent a sort of complaining tool that is easy for people to use. This process has involved addressing how to attract the attention of the users, how to motivate them to actually use this communication tool, how to build a consistent visual identity of the project and how to design it.

What could this mean for society?

The project is about how to communicate with our city, but, fundamentally, the idea concerns how we can become involved in the urban development that is constantly taking place. Simply put, the project aims to promote more democratic urban development in our society.

How could the project be developed further in future?

When it comes to the possibilities for potential future development, I expect that it will be possible for the methodology used in the design process to be applied and improved in various ways, thereby facilitating the collection of opinions not only from city dwellers, but also from the anonymous public. For instance, I particularly believe that the project can be applied at the study stage of architecture and urban planning to arrive at more democratic solutions.