Studying the prospect of social design with the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at Van Lang University

(VLU, 20/11/2021) – On the evening of 19 November 2021, the Industrial Design Division (under the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design) at Van Lang University had speaker Kim Young Min host the Academic Webinar on “Social Design”. The activity aimed to provide information focusing on social design, community design, and broadening the future career path for VLU students.

Aiming to enhance design students’ learning performance, networking activities, and experiential learning from the Vietnamese and global design community, the educational webinar on “Social Design” was organized by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design with the key speaker MA. Kim Young Min – Lecturer at SangMyung University. Mr. Kim was an exchange lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at Van Lang University in 2018. The webinar attracted significant attention from Van Lang University’s lecturers, more than 70 students, and many external attendees.

vlu hoi thao thiet ke xa hoi aMA. Kim Young Minh used to give lectures at Van Lang University. He had 21 years of experience in design and teaching design and won many prominent Korean and international awards.

Discussing the recent foundation of social design, MA. Kim Young Mean said this movement began to soar in the 2000s (approximately in 2008) and was considered an alternation for the prior styles. It oriented the designers’ new goals: environmental protection, human rights, and transparency.

The educational webinar on “Social Design” was a meaningful and informative activity for the students. It is a part of the big picture of the design profession to practice observation and brainstorm to propose solutions for complex questions and require the designers to prioritize topics related to social issues. The social design focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the designers in a social context and how the designing process could create positive changes for the community.

As an experienced designer, MA. Kim Young Min discussed many role models of the “beyond design” contribution of specific projects, ideas, and products today. He said the Creating Shared Values (CSV) effect was popularized by Tesla. Therefore, Tesla should not only be defined by their vehicle trading businesses but also by their actual values, which are clean energy, environmental protection, and their efforts to change the world’s awareness of clean energy. Another example was Tom’s Shoes. Tom’s Shoes does not only provide poor children with shoes but also facilitate them to go to school, acquire knowledge, enhance their awareness and become contributive citizens and future game-changers and leaders.

In the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic context, Korean designers have applied Social Design in their works and contributed to social life and pandemic control. For example, the “Itinerary Tracking” application helped track and protect users by warning them when they were about to enter red zones. This application relieved the governors from asking their people to state their itinerary by automatically updating and reporting to the local authorities. The most exciting fact was that this application was designed by a group of first-year university students in Seoul.

In this webinar, MA. Nguyen Thi Uyen Uyen also discussed her thoughts about the design career: “We are living in urban areas or well-equipped and satisfying infrastructures. However, we have to open our hearts, look out to the world, pay attention to the ones living in rural areas, and study the difficulties in their daily lives. Our duty is not just limited to what is assigned. Still, we have to sympathize with others, engage and understand their situation, thus we could realize the core values and come up with many contributions to society.”

vlu hoi thao thiet ke xa hoi b The Webinar acquired numerous positive feedbacks from lecturers, students, and other attendees.

MA. Kim Young Min’s discussion helped encourage and inspire the attendees to think about their future career paths and values. There were many questions asked by VLU students and other attendees about the practice of Social Design in Vietnam and particularly in Ho Chi Minh amidst ununiformed application. According to Mr. Kim, the biggest problem in Vietnam was its underdeveloped industry compared to Korea. However, it was possible to begin dealing with the local city’s environmental issues, and the University needed to support those projects. MA. Kim Young Min said the next generation of designers must be fully aware of the new values and contexts. He suggested that they need to start up with a creative mind and a fierce passion. Starting up with social design is very promising and acquirable; it could help reduce competition, create more opportunities, and significantly contribute to the community.

The event took place in celebration of Vietnam’s Teacher’s Day on 20 November 2021. It was a practical and memorable academic event for the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design. We hope the sincere recommendations and lessons at the webinar shall become valuable memories for the speaker Kim Young Min, the Directive Committee, FFAD lecturers, and all Industrial Design students who participated in this event.


MA. Nguyen Thi Uyen Uyen - Vu Phan Hoai Nhi
Translated by: An Pham


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