Collaborating with local administrative offices to improve neighborhoods: A case study of the Design Consultant program

Eun Ji Cho


In 2016, the Seoul Design Foundation, a city-funded design organization in Seoul, carried out a program that aims to solve local problems in the city by catalyzing collaboration between designers and civil servants. The one-year program, called “Design Consultant” program, supported 15 design projects addressing problems at a sub-district level through the collaboration with sub-district offices in Seoul. This paper examines the underlying strategies of the program to address a city’s problems, and at the same time to promote the adoption of the design in the public sector. Four projects carried out under the framework of the Design Consultant program were studied by interviewing the civil servants and junior designers who collaborated for five months at local sub-district offices.

Keywords: transformation design, local administrative offices, scaling out, scaling up, Seoul metropolitan city.

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