Yeah, time really flies here…. Some more updates on my recent days.

There are growing amount of work and responsibities for me but, I guess I finally got used to it since I’m getting less frustrated and got my normal optimism back. My students are great and I look forward to seeing their future work.

May 15th is “Teacher’s Day” in Korea. You can tell what day that is literally. I was surprised to find out that some of my students really look upon me and felt some responsiblity to be a good role model for them. Beside my somewhat mature thoughts, I got some cool gifts from students. There is one bottle of French brandy which I’m not sure what to do with yet but, I sure can drink a bottle of wine Junior year students got me as a gift. One thing I felt a bit awkward was when my senior students sang “Teacher’s day song” to me during my class… you know, I didn’t know where to look while they sang at me so I pretend to open the box of chocolates they got me. I shared chocolates with them afterward. The photo above is a flower bouquet they put on my chest for the teacher’s day ceremony. It’s usually made of Carnation… same kind of bouquet they used for Parents’ Day since they consider teachers are like parents here. The modern life changed teacher’s role a lot here but, I could tell there are huge respects still left toward teachers in this culture yet.

Last two weekends, I was traveling a lot to attend two different design conferences held in Korea. The most recent one, “Design Conference” by Korean Society of Design was held at Seoul University of Technology. I have met few old ITP friends and met new engineer/professors who experiment with wearables today. The highlight was the Jewlery Fashion Show they presented at the farewell party. The problem was that it didn’t get dark early enough since it’s going into summer… so we had to wait few more hours to see this finale show. The Jewlery Show was composed with ornament + fashion projects by senior students in Metal Arts Department at the hosting university. Their theme were world…different countries. I’ve noticed that they repeatedly used LEDs, El-wires for their jewlery arts but there are few I thought they really worked as enhancement to their metal artwork. Working with lighting materials tastefully is never easy.

Below photos are from the runaway, left; Vietnam theme & right; Korea theme. I thought it’s interesting that the student picked the traditional Shaman’s outfit to work with among all.

Last weekend, I took KTX(fast train) down to Busan to attend my first academical conference in Korea. Busan is the second largest city in Korea and it’s a huge port. Very often spelled as Pusan, don’t ask me which one is correct, I’m as confused as you are… It’s by Korean Society of Emotional Science. Their title alone was enough to evoke my curiosity and this year’s conference theme were more with “Emotional Design.” Since I’m making my students reading “Emotional Design” by E. Norman for their Interaction Design projects so I found it even more interesting. There were some interesting paper presentation and I have met one of main authors who you find when you study Emotional Design these days, who is P. Jordan. He had a talk about Pleasurability along with the content of his book. I haven’t read his book yet so, it was interesting enough. Later on when we had beer after conference, we had good talk and I have met again some more new people I share some interest with.

I really liked Busan. The smell of ocean is everywhere… surrounded with many layers of mountains, harsh southern dialect. Whenever I visit Busan, something deep inside me gets evoked. I stayed at Haundae (famous beach area.) Crossing over a high bridge and looking down the beach was great. However, I had a duty call from my school so I had to wake up at 5 am to take KTX again back to Daejun and so on. I’ve come to realize that last time I visited Busan was 10 years ago. I will visit Haundae again when I find one peaceful weekend in near future.