Haja Center (English&Japanese Blog)

Let’s Design a Sustainable City, Opening of the Summer School of the Haja Hub in July


Let’s Design a Sustainable City,

Opening of the Summer School of the Haja Hub in July


written by Yoon-joo Lee(Tarak, Hub team)

translated by Hayan, Jeon 


The Haja Hub located in the new building of the Haja Center is the place where good energy, and diverse resources and ideas are shared. The hub is a kind of laboratory where those who enjoy activities connecting between their neighborhood and society, not individuals who are survived in society where unlimited competition is prevalent and winners take all, gather together to work and meet each other by putting importance on caring and mutual existence. In this hub, various programs such as forum, workshop, and lecture will be held. As part of this, ‘Summer School of the Haja Hub’ will be open for July after recruiting students in June. Here, this special school where youths thinking about social responsibility and trying to plan creative projects will be introduced.


Do you know where electric power for computers, smart phones, and tablet PC that you are using now for reading this article is come from? If you live in Seoul, you need to know this. About 40% of the electricity consumed in Korea is consumed in the metropolitan area but Seoul cannot produce even 1% of the electricity used in Seoul by itself. Can you imagine how much environmental burden caused by energy consumption of Seoul is imposed on the region?   

Lately, the Seoul metropolitan government announced the plan to reduce electricity consumption equivalent to the power produced by one unit of a nuclear power plant. That is because it does not emit carbon dioxide causing climate change but the city government cannot leave the plant with a big risk of the accident and nuclear waste as it is.  

To reduce the electricity consumption equivalent to the power produced by one unit of a nuclear power plant, about 13% of the consumption that Seoul citizens usually use should be reduced. If the use of clean renewable energy such as hydropower and wind energy increases while energy consumption is being reduced, we might be able to meet the goal. What is a creative solution that we can take practice to reduce the energy consumption of Seoul? Can we distribute the method to make a simple power generator that citizens use to produce the electricity with a solar power by themselves or plan a project to reorganize a community where people gather to do something together for enjoyment in one place in a village, not watching the TV at each home, or reduce the temperature in Summer by eradicating cement blocks and planting trees?   

How about alternatives to solve the problems of traffic congestion and spread the culture of riding bicycles, improving the waste separation and disposal system, thinking about a new space for youths’ self-reliance for housing, and making alternatives to improve health of senior citizens living alone in the dosshouses where the problem of community collapse is serious and to revitalize the community?

The Summer School of Haja Hub prepared a program for participants to learn the whole planning process from research, brainstorming, idea discovery and specification, to presentation before the project with an aim of suggesting a realistic and applicable change to improve sustainability of Seoul where we live.

Mette N’rnberg Pedersen who graduated from Kaospilot, a school nurturing innovative social entrepreneurs in Denmark, will lead the workshop in a new way that you have not experienced before and provide an opportunity to communicate and learn together with experts from home and abroad who are actively playing their roles in project planning, architecture, urban planning, environment and sustainability.  


written by Mette N’rnberg Pedersen (Hub team)

translated by Yeonju, Choi


The summer school is inspired by Danish innovative school Kaospilot.  Kaospilot means a Pilot traveling through chaos.  Instead of one-way learning based typical school system, the Kaospliot puts focuses on practicing theory and learning through exercise of it.  It is because all in all what you learnt from school becomes outdated when you are hired. And also once you land a job, you are required to how to work well with others and how to be productive.

There are four steps – Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny. – It is named also as 4D.  These four steps are foundation for Design Thinking which is often used to make change in organization and community.  This is efficient and positive approach to promote dialogue for change.

In the first week, we plan to go on a ‘study trip’ over one night for the Discovery.

So we paved the way for the ensuing steps by getting to know each other better so we can off to good start.  We start researches to make healthy working environment and sustainable city to find diverse inspirations. There are lectures as well on changes occurring at levels starting from myself – region-nation-global. Mette and Jaimie will teach you how to use creative visual language as one tool for communication.

In the second week, for Dream, there are more useful workshops to execute project. There will be workshops on how to make project vision with team mates and on how to read trend (trend spotting). At this stage we will have more in-depth discussion and understanding.

We need to choose topics out of many for sustainableSeouland set the goal and vision of team projects.  How to increase energy self-independency of Seoul, how to increase local food by having more faming area in urban area and how to promote cycling culture to address traffic jam. 

To seek solution, accurate understanding of now is a must.  We will explore city on food as well along with book or internet search.  Fighting space, concentration space, and comfortable space will be divided to learn diverse leadership style.  Your body will remember these types of exploratory learning and boost the confidence as well.

In week 3, there will be workshops by urban planning specialists and architects for Design.  The focus will be on how to realize the set goal by each team.  Teams can get advice on their progresses.  This is stage to learn on how to prepare the showcase through discussing and learning on design studio, feedback methodology, and presentation technologies etc.

Lastly at the Destiny step, all team will make the final touch on the showcase.  Each team will work on to how to introduce their ideas which were made through diverse workshop and researches.  What title to put on, who to invite, and how to introduce will be planned directly by the participants.  In order to materialize the participants ideas, we want to make the channel where the youth can raise their voices in resolving the regional problems through the showcase.

After the showcase, we will have wrap up time to analyze what to improve and evaluate projects.  What we expect from participants to learn from thisSumerschool is this way of though.  Participants will learn different way of thinking and implementing through the entire process.  The Summer School is open to about 20 age young people aged 20~29.  Please have high attention on the Summer School development.


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