Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Seunghoon Han, I am from South Korea. It’s been about 6 months since I arrived in France. Here in school, I’m the older student who graduated from university 10 years ago and worked in design field for about 7 years in Korea. During my bachelor course called “Universal Design”, I became a big fan of public design and passionate about design for all, rather than for a specific group of users. It was my turning point. Fortunately, working for a couple of hardworking companies in Seoul gave me a great overview of design, from application design to big scale Urban Design. Now, I’m here at L’École de design to learn more.
You started your studies in South Korea. Why did you choose to continue your studies abroad and why in France?
I know that it is not an easy decision to study further after work experiences. Environmental design is actually becoming a hot topic recently, not only in Korea but all over the world. In this globalized world, designing with diverse cultures, people, and gaining more experience help me to broaden my vision of design. France is well-known for its various coexisting cultures than any other countries. In my opinion, France preserves its own culture and at the same time creates modern and original patterns, in order to harmonize culture and environment. I asked myself, “Why not learning different views of design and have interesting work experiences there?”. Therefore, I chose to study at L’École de design.
You followed a specific program before the MDes program. What’s your feedback? What do you think of the program you followed?
First of all, it was good to have practical classes that could be applied directly to the field after graduation. The curriculum on the first year was more focused on creative thinking, that was quite interesting. Then, all students were divided into specific majors and learnt the high quality of studies. If I look back to what I did previously, both trainers and students were a bit passive and not “crazy” about design. I mean as an amateur, I could have been more experimental with lots of attempts and failures.
Why did you choose the Mutations of the built environment MDes program?
Personally, I’m really interested in “Sustainable Design” since I started working on it. Also, I decided that it would be great if I kept going on that same field as this course gave me a wider view of design. I’m sure that the keyword, “sustainable” is one of the most important issues in our ordinary life. Also, I think the Mutations of the built environment MDes program is exactly what we have to deal with as environmental Designers. In my case, I decided that it would be better to study and work focusing on how what we can properly change or evolve rather than create brand-new design. Above the worldwide issue, the constant efforts to make more opportunities with various partnerships were also very attractive to me. I’m really looking forward to having many chances to work with other students from different fields.
What do you think of your integration amongst the MDes program? amongst the students?
It went well. It’s quite nice to have different views of the school methodology oriented by various cultures and multinational students’ thoughts. I had the opportunity to work with indirect valuable experiences. The long project I worked on was about “worker”. The integration students and I started with our own simple self-questions, and we wrapped it up well in the best possible way. It was pretty serious with deep content. More important, as a delegate, it was great to learn from my mutual friends. Together we shared good influence and encouragement.
What do you think of Nantes? Will you recommend the city for studying?
In a poetic way, Nantes is the city that I want to know “by myself”, like a snow-covered ground without anybody around. I realized that it was more attractive than I’ve heard before and I enjoy it. I think that Nantes has been developed and urbanized by well-preserving plans so to keep the city’s own attractive character. Beyond the city development, this city is strongly recommendable to study and meet nice warm people. I do recommend Nantes for people who study about urban, environment or landscape design. Because it’s the best place for experiencing the growth of a city. That’s how I felt recently. I appreciate studying about “Sustainable Cities” at L’École de design.
What surprises you in France and in Nantes?
A few things suprise me. First, the “masterpiece environment”, I felt surrounded by nature at first. Particularly, the color of sky when the sun sets is my daily surprising moment. Another surprising thing is the shops closing during the weekend. Even though it must be inconvenient for French people, they seem to agree or to respect labor’s work condition rather than willing to earn more money or being bothered by the inconvenience. Last thing that suprises me is when I’m being “greeted”. I come from South Korea and here, I feel nicely welcomed when I hear “bonjour” no matter how friendly people are. However, when I go to Paris, I occasionally feel that I’m on my guard against the others. Probably, this kind of feeling could be a design opportunity and an issue to figure out as a Designer.
How do you see yourself in a 5 years time?
Well, at the moment, I’m quite satisfied with studying here, at L’École de design. I’d like to work hard and to spend a worthy time during my master program while encouraging my classmates toward positive results together. Within 5 years, I’m sure that I’ll be proud of having studied in this school and maybe be its ambassador. And it will be nice to work for public institution in Korea as a sustainable city professional such as working in government or teaching students in differing ways. Hopefully I will be able to use my reasonable knowledge to find out more about how to improve the beauty of our lifestyle.