U.S. weekly magazine Newsweek introduced the major projects and policies being carried out by Seoul City to reshape the city through design in an article headlined ’Seoul Kicks off Its Year of Design’ published in its global edition on Feb. 15. The article, written by Newsweek journalist Katie Baker, was posted on the magazine’s Web site on Feb. 4.
In the article, the magazine said Seoul, which had a drab and generic look, has had its look changed through strategic design policies that have been implemented since the second-half of 2006. It is because of such efforts that Seoul won the title of the World Design Capital for 2010, the magazine said.
In addition, the magazine cited some analysts who compared the ‘Year in Design’ by Seoul, which aims to make design a growth engine for the Seoul economy, to the 1988 Seoul Olympics in terms of global exposure and the potential for tourist dollars through the promotion of the tourism industry. Also, multinational companies and luxury-good makers have been taking note of Seoul due to the city’s design potential, according to the magazine.
It was the fourth time this year that an influential foreign media source has carried a story about ‘Design Seoul.’ On Jan. 10, the New York Times ranked Seoul third in ’The 31 Places to Go in 2010.’ On Jan. 19, the British design magazine Wallpaper selected Seoul as one of the candidates for Best City for the Wallpaper Design Awards 2010. Also, on Jan. 21, Lonely Planet, the most popular travel guide book in the world, introduced the charm of Seoul and gave 10 reasons to visit the city under a headline ‘Learning to love Seoul.’
Such coverage by influential foreign media is just rewards for Seoul’s efforts to reshape its look through design. What’s more, the interest by foreign media proved that Seoul’s design policies, which use design as a marketing tool to increase awareness of the city’s brand, were gaining greater global recognition. So, such coverage should help Seoul to step up its international brand marketing.