UNESCO Creative Cities Forum_Seoul // Review

Posted on: 27. November 2023

On October 26, 2023, the UNESCO Creative Cities Forum in Seoul addressed the theme “The Role of Creative Cities in Fostering Resilience, Inclusion, and Sustainable Development.” The keynote titled “Designing for Cultural Inclusion” was delivered by Karl Stocker (Professor at Graz University)during the event.

Eberhard Schrempf, Managing Director of Creative Industries Styria, sent Karl Stocker (Professor at Graz University) to Seoul as a design ambassador to give a keynote speech.

The forum explored this topic from diverse perspectives. Patricia Moore, President of Moore Design Associates, delivered an empathetic presentation on the prospects of an inclusive and secure city. Han Geon-Soo, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Korean UNESCO Creative Cities Network, discussed the post-pandemic restructuring of the network, while Dawn Lim, CEO of the Design Council Singapore, shared insights into the remarkably successful practice of “Health and Well-being” in Singapore. Choi In-gyu, Officer for Design Policy in the city of Seoul, was impressed with a report on the numerous interesting projects that the city of Seoul is pursuing towards becoming a “Vibrant and Joyful City.”

Design as a Tool The presentation highlighted, through concrete examples, how creativity can be utilized as a tool to steer the environment and society in a “better” direction through design. Using the example of the UNESCO Design City Graz and the networking activities of the Creative Industries Styria, it was emphasized that collaboration among politics, science, business, creatives, designers, activists, and all stakeholders is crucial to collectively find solutions and truly implement the goals of social, ecological, and economic change.

Learning from Korea and Singapore Europe can learn tremendously from Asia regarding inclusion; what can be achieved in terms of design strategy and policy is almost unbelievable by our standards. The previous evening, we had the pleasure of attending the Seoul Design Award 2023 for Sustainable Life. Special thanks to Kyung Koo Han, the Secretary-General of the Korean UNESCO National Commission, for his hospitality, and to Eberhard Schrempf, the Managing Director of Creative Industries Styria, for sending me as a Design Ambassador to Seoul.