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2018-04 23

[Alumni]A World Where Everybody is a Farmer

Food, clothes, and housing are considered the three essentials, the most basic factors of life. Kim Hye-yeon (Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering, 04’), the CEO of N.Thing, argues that among them, food is the most important. “It’s a matter of fact that we can still survive without clothing or housing. But as for food, people can’t last very long without it.” There, a question was posed to Kim. With such dependency on food as a means for survival, why is no one these days willing to become farmers? Indeed, it is rare to see someone in the present day, dreaming of becoming a farmer. In fact, the percentage of farmers in Korea has decreased to less than 5% of the population. Kim’s solution to this rather contradictive situation was the company N.Thing. Created to increase public accessibility to farming, Kim explained his grand plan in great detail. Kim explained that his involvement in the technological and agricultural industry was a result of his past experiences. Introducing N.Thing The company name, N.Thing, refers to the n number of "things," or challenges that the firm plans to pursue in the future. Its futuristic tendencies clearly show that the company experiments with the latest technology, most notably Internet of Things (IoT), to fulfill its goals of revolutionizing every inch of the agriculture industry. N.Thing started off as a small start-up project among a group of friends, led by Kim during his undergraduate years. Their first product was a smart flowerpot by the name of Planty. It was a planter that could be connected to a smartphone, which would inform the user of the various conditions of the plant such as temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It could even be used to water the plant remotely. “Though the big picture of the firm and its plans were etched in my mind, the limited resources available at the time could only allow us to take such small steps,” answered Kim. Now, the firm has expanded to the scale of smart farms, integrating technology and farming on a scale and depth which has never been done before. Kim added that his ultimate goal was to create the first farm on Mars, a vision he hopes to achieve by the year 2020. To delve into the specific details of Kim’s business, the firm currently works to create a more efficient ecosystem for farming. Although their main products and services focus on providing the technological tools and data needed to reach the optimal productivity of farms, the company also makes an effort to change the organizational structure of current farms. The traditional structure leaves every process up to the farmers: the decision of which crops to plant, the entire farming process, and even the sale of their crops. Kim believed that this structure itself was inadequate and inefficient. First, it should be the consumers who place orders for the crops to be planted, thereby allowing people to take a bigger role in the agriculture industry. Furthermore, after the growing and harvesting of the crops, farmers should not have to deal with business interactions. In the same manner that mobile games are easily available to consumers via applications, publishing channels for farming should be developed to create higher accessibility to the public. With developments in each of these stages underway, N.Thing is devoted to creating an environment where everyone can take part in farming, thus becoming farmers. "Farming was an essential part of people's lives merely a few decades ago." In the process of pioneering a new field of agriculture, various difficulties naturally followed. However, Kim answered that there was no single striking memory of hardship. “Of course it was hard. Dealing with people, money, and regulations, nothing came easily. But I never dwelled on an issue more than was necessary. It was always just a natural part of building a company." Emphasizing the importance of individual perspectives, Kim answered that for him, an element of excitement was innate in every past obstacle. Furthermore, the hardships always led him to a valuable relationship with someone who helped him out of the ditch. Kim did, however, underline the intensity of the stress of leading a company. “Having worked in a company under a supervisor, I can confidently say that the mental pressure of leading one far surpasses the stress from simply working in one." As a result of his experience, Kim confessed that he never indulges other people to pursue entrepreneurship. “Rather, as entrepreneurship is closer to a lifestyle, people with the calling will naturally make the choices to that path." Life prior to entrepreneurship According to Kim, he had the dream of starting his own company as a high school student. Back then, he had a deep interest in web development, and had even managed the website for his school. In addition, he made a school club in which they would circle the local shops in the area and offer to design a website for them. In return, they would receive a small amount of money. In a sense, this was his first step in the field of startups. Hoping to meet a wider scope of talented people, he set foot in Hanyang University, a school he was drawn to for its deep devotion to technological advancement. There he achieved his initial goal, having met the people he now runs a company with. As he recounted his years as a university student, Kim confessed that he had been a bit of an outlier. Devoted to his belief that life should be a pursuit of his desires, he took many classes irrelevant to his department and increased interaction with people from other majors, which later on profoundly helped him manage his company. Adhering to his motto, he also took up jobs in entertainment, trend analysis, entrepreneurship, and agriculture. He added that where he stood now was a result of connecting the dots of his past experiences. Kim believes that without sufficient trials and errors, it is difficult for a person to establish a dream. As a word of advice for Hanyang students, Kim emphasized the importance of trial and error. “Though I had followed my passion, I always felt worried about straying from what was “normal.” Everyone around me was focusing on their grades, qualification exams, and employment. It took immense courage for me to break free from that frame." However, it was due to this transcendence that Kim was able to get to where he is now. In the same sense, Kim urged students of Hanyang to get out and try something they find the smallest hint of interest in. According to Kim, if something is given thought for too long, it will never lead to action. As the societal position of a university student is a very safe and stable one, it is easy to fall into this pattern. Kim’s advice is to get started on the exact day of the inspiration. “It’s kind of like playing golf. At first you swing hard towards the green, and then work on getting the ball in the hole. If you focus too much about getting the ball in from the start, you’ll never make the first swing." Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-04 09

[Alumni]Providing Hope for Students

According to a survey conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Korea’s youth unemployment rate was calculated to be 10.3 percent as of 2017. In comparison to other countries, Korea is ranked as the 16th highest, and has more or less maintained this level for the past five years. However, despite the fact that the rate of youth unemployment has remained at a similar number for a while, the difficulty of unemployment felt by young people was recorded to be the worst. As always in times of hardship, no matter how devastating they may be, there is hope. Two exemplary cases of employment by Kim Na-young (Department of Media Communication, 13’) and Lim Yu-jin (Department of Policy Studies, 10’), offer a ray of hope and encouragement to Hanyangian students. The Hanyang Work Experience Program Among the number of programs that Hanyang University has employed to address the challenges of employment for its students, one of the most prominent initiatives is the Hanyang Work Experience Program (HYWEP). Simply put, HYWEP can be explained as a program for providing students with internship opportunities. Every semester, a list of corporations with internship openings are posted online, along with the job description, number of positions, and the pay rate. A competitive edge of HYWEP is that as the program is co-established with the school, students can earn academic credits through the internship. Through this system, students can save a significant amount of time, since they do not have to take time off school to pursue work experience. Furthermore, the internships could lead to potential employment opportunities. Lim felt that her first three months of internship had not been sufficient enough to learn about the job of an accountant; this led her to return for a second internship. The path to employment There are a number of similarities and differences between the stories of Kim and Lim. To begin with the differences, Kim works at an advertisement company. After completing her exchange student program in the United States, she applied for an internship through HYWEP. Although Kim’s aspiration as an undergraduate student was to become a television show producer, working in the advertisement industry was a dream she had held as a child. “I consider myself very lucky. I tried something I liked, found I was good at it, and one thing led to another”. On the other hand, Lim works as an accountant. For Lim, a career as an accountant was a goal that had been set some time ago. After having completed an internship in an accounting department situated abroad, she felt the desire to work in Korea. Through the HYWEP program, Lim was able to find a firm that suited her conditions. After two consecutive internships, she was offered a position at the firm. Kim and Lim also shares some significant similarities. For one, they both work for an international company. The two students both pursued an internship period of six months in their respective firms prior to their recruitment. Finally, they both made extensive use of the Hanyang Career Development Center and the HYWEP program. Some advantages of the HYWEP program that Lim mentioned were the kindness of the employees at the Career Development Center. When she had been contemplating which company to apply for, she brought a list of potential companies to the center, where one of the managers gave an analysis on each of the potential firms. After receiving counseling on her career path, she was given a final recommendation. Furthermore, since the internship was done through the school, she felt that the “Hanyang” title was attached to her throughout her experience. Thus, she had to work with a firm sense of responsibility. Kim added that another advantage of HYWEP was that it was a good source of information. Often times, internship possibilities require some research, and personal effort is necessary to find good openings. However, the list of openings that the HYWEP program provides is itself an extremely helpful source. Furthermore, as the application is done through the school, there may be a lower level of competition for the position. Kim answered that working at an advertisement firm was an unexpected fortune. Working on the promotion of movies, every project was new, so she never felt bored. Some room for improvement as suggested by Lim and Kim was that a wider array of positions from more industries would be desirable. According to Kim, although there is some variety in the offered openings every semester, there still lacks a fundamental variety to the types of industries that are open for application. She also added that an assessment of the firms would be extremely helpful for those contemplating which company to apply for. Although she was fortunate enough to have worked in a friendly work environment, she had witnessed others who having to work overtime, and generally be mistreated. Kim believes that having an overall assessment record could prevent such happenings. Meanwhile, Lim suggested that an interim evaluation would be helpful for students. In the current state, the Career Development Center does not engage with the students after the internship begins. However, some follow-up services thoughout the duration of the internship could greatly benefit the students. Advice for students Both alumna stressed the importance of a long-term internship. “Internships usually come in 3, 6, and 9 month terms, but 3 months is too short a time to really learn anything,” mentioned Kim. Lim also added that for foreign companies, an internship period is an opportunity to prove one’s competence. “Foreign firms especially have a tendency of not hiring people lacking any work experience. Therefore, the period of internship can act as a great window to prove your capabilities.” The two graduates also emphasize the importance of internships themselves, as there are striking differences in how a school and a company approach the same thing. “The academic and practical approaches to the same phenomenon are very different in terms of attitude and purpose,” added Kim. Lim also agrees that her internships were a great chance to learn the realities of a student’s desired career path. Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-03 13

[Alumni]Breaking Barriers for the Future of Medicine

Becoming a doctor is a common childhood dream for many children. However, after growing up and realizing how challenging such a dream is, a large number of dreamers abandon their pursuit. This pattern is similar for computer scientists. The study of computer engineering, just like every other subset of engineering, is notorious for being extremely demanding. Now imagine attaining a doctorate degree in both of these fields. As impossible as it sounds, Hyun Wook Han (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, ‘94), currently a head professor at Cha University, has achieved such goals, and is now paving a new path that combines the potential possibilities of the two fields. This is Health Care Big Data Recently having published the book, This is Health Care Big Data, Han expressed his deep passion for big data technology. Referring to his book as an introductory guideline to understanding this relatively new concept, Han emphasized the need for technical knowledge. “As much as big data is gaining attention in light of the 4th industrial revolution, there are not many books that handle the technical aspect of it. Most books are written by non-engineers. Although these books hold profound insight into the entrepreneurial and social aspects of big data, they lack explanation on the technical elements fundamental to truly understanding this technology.” Han, therefore, drew from academic information, personal experiences, and the columns that he had occasionally written, to create an extensive book on big data. Largely connecting the concept of health care and telecommunications technology, he wrote about the common area where the two fields meet. Furthermore, while compounding this information, Han also took into consideration the importance of readability, since the targeted readers for the book were the majority of the public. He explained that the book does not delve too deeply into the field, which is the reason why he called it “introductory.” Han has always liked writing. "I used to write poems as a student." Big data and health care artificial intelligence Immersed in clinical research and development, Han described his research as “networking fields of medicine.” According to Han, the various departments of medicine each have a significant amount of accumulated data. A problem with the status quo is that not a single pair of departments inspect the possibility of a relationship between data from their respective fields. “Simply speaking, what I do is discover the relationship between two objects. These objects could be diseases, particles, genes, and so on. A key characteristic of my research is that the pool of factors that I draw from transcends a single department of medicine. Curiously, not many people study two departments at the same time.” With the development of new drugs stagnant due to increasing restrictions and limitations, Han explained that new paradigms to comprehend and approach diseases were in demand. In this process, big data is the key. Due to the nearly infinite volume of data, big data is the only technology that allows the user to process and analyze the data set. Furthermore, big data is an essential, fundamental tool that enables the development of an Artificial Intelligence program for health care. “An AI for health care would be another breakthrough for mankind. The spotlight, especially from the government, is focused on creating an AI program." Han, however, explained that it is still a distant technology. One of the biggest problems that he noted was the lack of clinical data. “Most researchers today try to compete with AI algorithms, without extensive insight into clinical data. This sets a critical limit on its practicality. The reason that the major hospitals in Korea do not use AI programs is because of instability.” As an illustration for his argument, Han took the example of cancer. As cancer is a deeply genetic disease with diversified treatment processes, it cannot be generalized for practical uses. An extensive set of clinical data will be the only solution to provide practicality for AI algorithms. Han works with a number of medical firms, seeking ways to implement big data and block chain technology. To enable big data analysis and AI development becomes possible, an extensive accumulation of accurate information is extremely crucial. However, this process is nearly impossible for several reasons. First, the formats of medical records and documents are different at each hospital, making it difficult to collect and organize the data in a consistent manner. Second, there is a phenomenon called “doctor shopping” in Korea. This refers to patients picking out the hospital and doctor they want to see. After receiving diagnoses from any number of desired doctors, patients then decide on the hospital that they wish to receive treatment from. This means that even if some hospitals have data on disease diagnosis, they do not necessarily have a accompanying record on treatment. This phenomenon scatters medical information everywhere. Even the data on treatment can become fractured when a patient decides to move around hospitals for the best treatment. Finally, even if it was somehow possible to collect the fragmented medical data in a consistent manner, current medical laws ban the use of medical data from being exported to another entity. According to Han, all these obstacles can be overcome with a key technology: block chain. Block chain technology is the building block of crypto currency, allowing the creation of a virtual ledger that cannot be meddled with. This endows security and stability to the newly surfacing form of currency. The same manner of utilization can be adapted for medical data. The reason why medical records were entrusted to hospitals was because they were the only entity deemed responsible enough not to modify medical documents for their own benefit. However, with the block chain technology, medical records and data can be entrusted to the individual, allowing the possibility of attaining data legitimately. Furthermore, the diagnosis and treatment will no longer be fragmented, ensuring the profundity of the data set. The development and implementation of this technology is steadily underway. Han added that one of his current research topics is focused on creating the environment that enables the purchase and sale of medical data. “Personal medical data will inevitably be a valuable asset that companies will seek to purchase. What I want to prepare is a new market for this transaction.” Han’s journey The department of computer engineering was not established when Han went to school. The department of electrical and electronic engineering had an integrated curriculum, providing classes in computer engineering and electrical engineering. Han made the decision to take classes in system engineering, computer programming, and so on. After graduation, Han went to Seoul National University's graduate school of electronics and computer engineering where he focused his research on databases. What drew him to the medical field was a single seminar. Among the large number of seminars at the time, Han participated in the one where the speaker talked about the infinite data created by cells and how they could be used (the term, “big data” was non-existent at the time). This concept was a great shock at the time, and it has grasped Han’s interest since then. Han stated that though his studies were tough, he felt a genuine interest in his classes. During the short period of employment after attaining his master’s degree, Han decided to pursue a career in bioinformatics. After extensive contemplation, as well as consultation, Han concluded that an analyst would be as far as he could get in the field without extensive knowledge in biology or medicine. After some consideration, he enrolled in Cha Medical University. His courses there revolved around clinical research, a direction he continues to this day. “It was very difficult studying both fields. Having studied subjects such as math, physics, and systems logic, I’ve never had to memorize much for my classes. They were more focused on comprehension. On the other hand, the field of medicine was about memorizing, from beginning to end. At a relatively old age, it was hard to memorize so much information. I think I studied about three times as much as my peers did. The process was definitely not easy. However, after completing my studies, I could really feel the synergy coming into play when I began my doctorate courses. I could communicate the language in both fields, reading and referring from research papers in respective fields. This helped out a lot.” Drawn from his life experience, Han emphasized the importance of connectivity for young students. “In school, different subjects are studied independently. There are hardly any classes that teach students how to connect and integrate different fields. As of now, it is up to the students to grow the ability to do so.” Han wished to advise students to learn to connect different domains. According to Han, this insight through integration can often create an opportunity of “burst.” Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-02 25

[Alumni]Catching the Moment of the Act

“A play is an exciting form of art. It exists in each moment, and every performance is different and special.” The celebrated play critic, Kim Ock Ran (Korean Literature, 87'), recently awarded the Yeoseokki Critic Award, showed a visible air of excitement and love for the theatrical art. “I love being part of the moment. Not only do I write about the plot and acting of the play, I watch the audience, observing how their breath changes in reaction to the performance.” Kim confessed that her interests were strictly in plays. She hardly watches movies. (Photo courtesy of Lee Eun Kyeong) Red and Black Winner of the 2017 Yeoseokki award, Kim writes about plays in a wide scope of magazines and journals. “It is an extreme honor to have been awarded this prize. This award is a very special recognition. If no noteworthy piece is published that year, the award isn't given at all.” Named after the late play critic, Yeo Seok-ki, who established the field of play critic, the award is dedicated to continuing his legacy and recognizing great writers in the field. Kim also mentioned that the award was given by Yeo's daughter, which was another great honor. Kim was awarded for her book, Red and Black. The book held piercing criticism towards the government in the years from 2013 to 2015 when the “Black list” scandal had created a huge issue. “Plays are more vulnerable to government censorship since it has to happen on stage. During the black list period, stages would suddenly go under construction blocking plays from even happening.” According to Kim, censorship had become a critical tool for the government, especially after the Sewol Incident. She was surprised to find out the pattern of censorship as she had organized and wrote about the dispersed cases of government intervention. “I realized a lot of things while writing this book. I learned how pervasive censorship is and the role I play as a critic. The book also helped me find and secure my voice.” “My philosophy in writing is to “write easily.” More than anything, the readers should be able to read with ease. I had the privilege to visit the late critic Yeo and asked him how I should write.” His answer was to write in a simple and clear tone, and since then, it has been the guideline for Kim. She confessed that she rewrites her pieces several times, focusing on how she can shorten her sentences. “The key point in critic writing is empathy. Readers need to relate to the message that I aim to deliver. It also needs to be alive. Because plays are very much alive.” Life as a play critic According to Kim, her decision to become a play critic came very naturally. She majored in Korean literature, specializing in Korean plays. Therefore, she had many opportunities to see theatrical performances as a student. Furthermore, personal mediums such as blogs and social networking portals had just come into existence at the time. “I had plenty of things to write about and the perfect place to write on. It all just came very naturally.” During her years as a student, the Department of Theater and Film belonged to the College of Humanities, giving her more opportunities to get involved in the arts. It was also an era of demonstrations, so students spent more time on the streets than in classrooms. According to Kim, there were many seminars back then and many discussions and debates. She received much constructive feedback and ideas during her seminar sessions. Her life as a student was very active, participating in photography clubs and traveling. “I did everything with passion. I don't think I could live so actively if I had the chance to go back.” "I traveled, took photos, wrote, watched performances, and just had so much fun." (Photo courtesy of Lee Eun Kyeong) The future of Korean plays and Kim's role “Up until the 1980's and 90's, the writer held the most power and influence over plays. After that, it was the era of directors. Although the text was given, the manner of delivering the piece unto the stage was most important, a task best suited for directors. The trend these days has turned to production theaters. Until now, theaters were merely hardware. Always rented and reserved.” Now the tide has turned to production theaters. Theaters regularly decide on the themes, adapting the stage to cater to it. Then the directors and writers are casted, creating a line-up for the season. According to Kim, the influence of ideas and social issues has grown stronger. The trend has also begun to provide performance opportunities abroad. She sees it as a development, giving productions more independence and power. “Plays in the past had too much intervention from the Korean National Drama Company." "I think this is the last step of democratization for Korean theaters." (Photo courtesy of Lee Eun Kyeong) Kim sees the field of play productions as going through a period of struggle and development. With the recent scandals concerning sexual harrasment and inequality, the theatrical arts is going through a tough period. Kim has also expressed great remorse over the course of events. “Many people devoted to this form of art are devastated. The pillars that we cherished and celebrated had been rotten from the start.” Nevertheless, Kim was hopeful, as she sees it as a step towards a better society. “It hurts, very much. But it was something unacceptable, and the people are moving towards change." Kim was determined to cover every inch of this change as a person researching this field. “I have an obligation to keep a certain distance, and record this moment in history as objectively as possible. It is a time that requires much wisdom and courage, and I am optimistic for the future we will approach.” Lee Changhyun Photo by Kang Chohyun

2018-01 02

[Alumni]A Doctor at an Art Museum

What does the field of medicine and art have in common? To that question, doctor Park Kwang-hyuk (Department of Medicine, ’00) answers that they both revolve around the life and death of humans. While the field of medicine works strenuously to lengthen human lives by finding the cause and remedies for diseases, art strives to capture the essence from various moments in a person’s life. Having found this intriguing factor, Park has devoted his life equally to each of these fields. He works as a physician before noon, and gives art lectures in the afternoon. The audience of his lectures are somewhat varied, from corporations to public offices and schools. One lecture that he gives on a regular basis is through his weekly art gathering, the Mona Lisa Smile. The Mona Lisa Smile The name 'Mona Lisa Smile', suggested by one of the members, has a dual meaning. The first is quite literal, referring to the mysterious smile of Mona Lisa, one of the most symbolic works of art in the Louvre Museum. The second meaning is derived from the movie, The Mona Lisa Smile. In the film, the protagonist is an art instructor who attempts new approaches to art lectures. Park expressed satisfaction with the name, as it well captures the values that his gathering strives for: the love for art and the desire for new things. The Mona Lisa Smile is a social gathering that welcomes anyone who shares a love for art. (Photo courtesy of Park) When asked how the Mona Lisa Smile came to being, Park replied that he originally began with docent lectures, which is a type of lecture that handles art facts and history when some of his audiences approached him with a suggestion to begin a regular lecture. Intrigued by his lecture contents, they formed a regular social gathering for art lovers, where Park could give regular lectures. For Park, it was a great opportunity as he liked nothing more than to study art under various themes and prepare lectures to share his findings. Some of his most popular themes were “The plague in classical art”, “Gambling in classic art”, “Jealousy in classic art” and so on. The classes are held every Friday, from 7pm to 9pm, in Yeoksam-dong. About 30 to 40 people from a total of 70 members attend, where classical art is approached in a variety of perspectives, such as medicine, humanities, and so on. Not only are there lectures but also group museum tours from time to time on weekends. Although most of the members are artists and doctors, Park mentioned that he was surprised to find out the diverse professions of his audience, such as lawyers, pharmacists, accountants, and public servants. A Doctor at an Art Museum Park also published a book titled, “A Doctor at an Art Museum.” It is part of a series in which different fields are applied as windows to perceive classical art. There are books such as “A Chemist at an Art Museum,” “A Lawyer at an Art Museum,” and such. Park explained that the book was actually a collection of his lecture notes from the Mona Lisa Smile. Some of his members asked for a review note of his lectures to organize their contents, so he began sharing his analysis on internet communities. The notes had so great a reaction that people nudged him to organize them into a book. Park also wrote columns for art magazines from time to time, and some of them were also used for the book. Although his lectures revolve around a large number of themes, he was asked specifically to extract contents related to the field of medicine to emphasize his characteristic as a doctor. Park answered that he was surprised to find out that "A Doctor at the Art Museum" had a decent sales number. (Photo courtesy of Park) The story of Park Park recalls that he had been mesmerized by Greek Mythology as a child. As an introverted kid, he often turned to mythology books during his free time. However, his ideas and concept of various gods and myths were only in his imagination. It was when he encountered his first classical art piece that the ideas in his head were portrayed in real life. He realized that a picture really did speak a thousand words, and that there were details that he had never thought of before. It was in that moment when he realized his love for art. Later in his high school years, he witnessed the death of a protestor during a demonstration in Shinchon. Such a close encounter to death was a traumatic event for him, and he recalled that he was even physically ill for a few days. He had spent the rest of his life trying to forget the memory of what he had seen on that day. Then, during his second year in medical school, he went on a trip to Europe. He visited the Louvre Museum in Paris, where he was mysteriously drawn to the Liberty leading the People, drawn by Eugene Delacroix. He stood in front of the piece and shed tears for a long time. “I saw myself in that drawing. Among the protesters leading the rally, there was a frightened looking child, whom I found myself in.” He felt as if his old trauma was fading away and realized that there is a power in art which can heal people. Throughout the interview, Park was excited about his next lecture regarding the piece, The Girl with the Pearl Earrings Now Park is living a happy life pursuing his interests and his profession. He jokingly added that many people think that he must make a lot of profit from his activities, but as a father of five daughters, he has to work very hard to maintain his life balance of both fields. He plans to lead this lifestyle for as long as he can, and when asked about any of his long term goals, Park answered that he hopes to publish another book in the future. In his last comments, Park wanted to tell the readers that there are many domestic artists who are extremely talented but have a hard time maintaining their professions. Just like the late artist Vincent Van Gogh, artists cannot keep up with their living expenses and only draw. He expressed deep sympathy, as domestic art museums such as Hangaram Museum, Somang Museum, and many small galleries in Insa-dong carry a number of art works from talented artists who haven’t had a chance to get any spotlight. Although he himself holds small auctions to raise support funds for unknown artists, he hopes to see many more opportunities and events to promote talented, yet unknown Korean artists. Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2017-10 31

[Alumni]Introducing the Mastermind Behind the Prime Lounge Project

In celebration of the construction of the Prime Lounges in the Hanyang ERICA Campus, News H interviewed the mastermind behind the many lounges enthusiastically used by the students of the campus. Park Euna (Industrial Design, '00), led a one-person design firm called Design EU, passionately pursuing her calling for design. Park runs an interior architecture firm. Designing her alma mater Her first step in designing her old school began when the LINC+ Foundation, requested the design of the Knowledge Factory in 2012. The construction, with the purpose to facilitate start-up ideas, was such a success that it was expanded to “Knowledge Studio” in 2014. This served as the next step in the relationship. It was generally unusual for a school to focus on the design of its interiors. Nevertheless, it was a small beginning that she was happy to take part of. Then, she took charge of the Prime Lounge Project for the development of the student environment. For the last two years, she has designed lounges for various department buildings. She did not have this type of environment as a student and felt great empathy to the cause--providing a better studying environment for students. A crucial purpose of the project was to move the students, who usually studied in cafes, into the campus by providing a similar environment. In designing different lounges, her goal was to understand and utilize the unique characteristics of each department. She wanted to provide diversity to the students. For every project, there were key words such as ‘concentration', ‘expression’, ‘transformation', and so on. The space design were done with these concepts in mind. In retrospect, Park views the project as a fresh and stimulating experience. She jokingly added that it was exciting just to be back on campus as it had been nearly 10 years since her graduation. Park emphasized that she never turned down a new opportunity. The journey to starting a one-person firm Park had a clear purpose since her university years. She considers herself lucky to have had the calling and environment. She sought a job that she could have fun and learn. After working in a domestic design company for five years, she felt the necessity to find her own color and voice in her designs. Thus, she took all of her savings and went to New York in 2008 with the purpose to learn, relax, and find inspiration. According to Park, she had studied straight through college, eager to begin her career, but she suddenly felt the need to pack things up and leave. New York was different in that she was more respected as a professional despite her lack of English proficiency. The fact that her initial plans for a project came out exactly how she had intended showed that her views in design were highly reputed. This was not so common in Korea, where the clients are considered to be the “king” or the ultimate decision makers. However, despite her freedom to create, one limitation that she felt while working in New York was that she did not have enough time to study. She eventually returned to Korea to satisfy her thirst for learning and proceeded to a graduate program in Hanyang soon after her return. She never had the idea of running a firm in mind, but as she began to receive numerous project proposals, it just seemed natural to do so. The realization that she could make others truly happy through her work was a big influence on her decision. The name of her firm, Design EU, stands for the reason for her designs, as well as the message that every design has a reason and purpose. Philosophy and advice Park believes that there is a right time for everything. She advises students, “Don’t try to extend your status as a student. You can always come back and study. You can learn much more when you realize the reason and purpose for studying.” For her, going to New York, proceeding to graduate school, and starting her firm all came as natural; it was always the “right time” to do so. One affirmation she had was that the purpose of her life was to design, and the purpose of her design was to spread happiness. This provided a firm ground for all of her decisions. "Nothing is easy. Every aspect of it has a process. Just know this: If you persist, anything is really impossible. Also, don’t stay in one place. Knock on doors, travel, and grab opportunities." Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Kim Youn-soo, Kang Cho-hyun