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Source: Hyung-Chan Kim, 785-532-1310, hckim21@k-state.edu
Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjwVlklTU2k
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

DESIGN EXCHANGE GIVES STUDENTS INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE WITHOUT LEAVING MANHATTAN

MANHATTAN -- Students in a Kansas State University interior design class gained a world of knowledge in a mere seven weeks this semester.

Hyung-Chan Kim's Interior Studio 7 class did a design exchange with a class from Sangmyung University, which is 90 minutes outside of Seoul, South Korea. Kim is an assistant professor of interior design at K-State. The project was facilitated by Telenet 2, the Kansas Regents Network in K-State's Dole Hall.

Each class, broken into several small groups, designed kiosks for an invented client -- technology company LG. The Korean students designed for a site in Kansas City; the K-State students designed for a site in Seoul.

"I believe for most students that this was their first international design experience," Kim said. "Most haven't had the opportunity to design for a site in another country. I hope this will help them when they are professionals to attend to an international project and not be intimidated by them."

Kim earned a grant from K-State's office of international programs and discussed the idea for the exchange with a Korean colleague while in Korea this past summer. Together, they worked to create the exchange and plan the timeline details and project specifications.

At the outset of the project, the classes swapped information about their country's culture; the local city's characteristics and architecture; and the specific site.

Each group had to design a kiosk that could be no larger than 270 centimeters by 270 centimeters. The kiosk had to be mobile, and able to be broken down and stored behind a set of double doors. The kiosk had to advertise the company and have fulfill several functions, such as merchandise sales and cell phone charging.

Kim said one of the challenges of the project is that the K-State students had to learn to use the metric system, and the Korean students had to use feet and inches. The students exchanged designs with different scale units.

"The major goal of this project was to expose our students to multicultural issues and to exchange design ideas with design school students from another country," Kim said. "In addition, one of the best learning experiences for the K-State students was that they had to consider how to say things so that the Korean students would understand them. They learned to speak more clearly and use more precise terms."

The classes presented their final designs to each other via videoconferencing. The two universities span a 14-hour time difference, which required the K-State students to meet for the videoconference in the evening, which was early the next morning for the Korean students.

To see some of the students discuss their projects, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6rUtONgSEw