Author Archives: sky7

Egalitarian Public Park/ Juan and Sky

Cambridge city often boasts about how people living here enjoy abundance of public parks. Yes, it is true that we are not short of parks here but  have we thought about for whom? It is stated as ‘public’ park, but while discussing egalitarian public park design, we came to realize that the term ‘public’ is often used in very UN-egalitarian way.

For example, many public parks in the midst of middle class houses are designed mostly for lifestyles of families with kids. Playgrounds with swings comprise substantial area and kids usually play around screaming. Where should a person with no kid who wants a quite park suitable for reading go, if there are only parks for kids? On the other hand, in the neighborhood where population of African American is higher, the public parks seem to have far more basketball courts than average. Stated as public, but aren’t these parks results of stereotypes? What if a black kid wants to play soccer instead?

With these uncomfortable questions in mind, we designed (well… tried) this egalitarian public park: COMMUNITY ARENA (FOR ALL). This park is a public park, but it starts with an idea of not strictly defining ‘public.’

Single guy who likes to read alone at night (You see? It sounds a little bit weird if you add a phrase like ‘on a swing.’ But what’s wrong with reading at night in a park?), a senior person who needs occasional walk in a wood, moms who would like yoga class during the days, a black boy who wants to play hockey (instead of basketball) can all come to a park we designed and find whatever they need. This is possible with modular design that allow a park to change by pushing a buttons installed in the park with each set of features. For example, if one pushes the button written  ‘soccer field’, basketball courts will transform to the soccer fields. (It might have some kind of laser technology machine to drawn lines for an appropriate occasion.)

We don’t want people to fight over the feature, so reservation systems must be built. In addition, it should be made sure that community people will have strong voices over which set of modules will be installed.

Sure it sounds fancy, right? It is like TD Stadium (where they transform ice hockey rink to basketball court in relatively short time) in your neighborhood!

However and of course, it sure will need too much of a budget.



‘Walking Taking’ project: reflection

Project Overview

I and my company(newspaper company in South Korean, Chosunilbo) started a small project called ‘Let’s Walk: Waking Talking'(the names ‘walking talking’ was derived from ‘walkie talkie‘ if anybody remembers it) project. Like many other countries, with computers and all the fun stuffs to do with them, people were moving significantly less. It was causing health problem such as diabetes and obesity. Kids and teenagers who were familiar with computers were most negatively affected ones.
We assumed that the easiest way of moving bodies were walking, and one of the reasons that people didn’t walk enough was that it was boring. With the resources we can bring as a newspaper company, we set up a goal to make walking more fund and exciting.
The object was to make a fun audio file to listen to while you are walking. The files gave the walking directions of specific roads or paths that one can walk for 2~3 hours. We contacted famous celebrities in Korea (actor, writer, cartoonist, sports star etc) and explained the cause for the project so they could be the voices of the recordings.
For every mp3, the celebrity chose the road/path oneself (usually their favorite ones) and walked the course beforehand with some readers. We recorded the voices of the celebrities and edited them with a little more detailed direction. Users would walk the road with the guidance and feeling of small talks with celebrities.
We distributed the files free via our company’s website. The shoes company, Rockport, was a contributing sponsor.

1. targeted users
Many people downloaded the file . But the problem was that the targeted users that we hoped to use the file more, were not really coming in: teenagers and kids. A task of walking for 2~3 hours was too long for young ones. The main users of the files turned out to be retirees. We simply thought kids and teenagers were more familiar with digital audio files so they will enjoy the project too, but we didn’t think about their (busy) life cycles.
–>Would have worked better: if we made the audio files a little bit shorter and less location specific.
2. collaborator
Rockport was our collaborator and sponsor. Successful project would have made every participants happy, but Rockport was not. They wanted more and more exposures as the project went by but we didn’t want to spoil the audio with too much ads.
–>Would have worked better: if we talked with Rockport beforehand about what they REALLY wanted.
3. problem analysis
We were a little bit naive in terms of analyzing the problem. We just assumed people were not walking enough because walking was boring. But by looking back, I kind of feel that there were/are so many more reasons that make people walk less: like pollution in Seoul or too much workload.
–>Would have worked better: if we approached the problem more comprehensively. Maybe we just wanted to make fun mp3, then came up with the problem? It should have  been the other way around.


Sky’s Intro

Hello everyone!

I am Sky(Shinyoung). I came here to Cambridge from Seoul, Korea about ten days ago to study as a visiting scholar at MIT Sloan School of Management.

I work for the daily, national newspaper company in Korea called ‘Chosunilbo'(Chosun Daily Newspaper) as a staff writer. I write mostly about financial market. This year starting from September is one year leave that my company granted me to upgrade myself.
I majored in musical instrument(piano) in Seoul National University and journalism at Korea university. I am also a PhD candidate for journalism in Korea University.

I am a big fan of Korean baseball team ‘Nexen Heroes’. I love baseball and now am trying hard to study(?) the Red Sox team players. I also love to watch Anime(=Japanese animation), especially Naruto series.

Pictures here are 1. selfie at Red Sox game recently 2. picture I took with my colleagues back in Korea doing barbecue at the baseball park.(Yes! you can do barbecue at Korean baseball park!)

Happy to meet you all!

at the fenway park watching red sox game

watching baseball game while doing barbecue in Korea