[디자인씽킹뮤지엄] 

디자인씽킹은 문제를 해결하고, 세상을 바꾸는 발명입니다. 디자인씽킹의 또 다른 의미 "사람을 중심으로 한 디자인"은 공감과 창의성을 내포합니다. 사람들의 삶에 유익함을 전달한 디자인 유물과 그 속에 담긴 재미난 스토리를 만나보세요.


When I was young, I had a wonderful thought-expanding experience spending time abroad. My mother and I used to go to foreign auctions to get rare items or local markets to bargain for collection items. As a young kid, this was more like a shopping spree or browsing boring old stuff piles. My mother, 24 years older than I am, helped me to understand the design thought process ever since I went out collection shopping with her.

“This scale is a rare one, it has the royal family seal on it.”

In my young eyes, it just looked like worms engraved on a boring scale.

“The philosophy of scale contains the idea of Gong (Śūnyatā; emptiness).”

‘Did not ask.’

“See the decorative fish pattern in both European and Chosun Dynasty antique scale? The fish pattern symbolizes fertility and productivity.”

‘Is it because of the fish eggs? Yuk, gross. That reminds me of frog eggs. It might cause me trypophobia.’


Whenever she goes back to Korea, my mother would spend a lot of time around the Insa-dong area. She would take pictures of unique/weird-looking spoons and send them to me abroad on my phone. She would want me to pick the right one out of the options. Which one will this be?  1. A spoon for her son Boryung (our dog), 2. A spoon for Boram (me), 3. A spoon from Goryeo Dynasty.  

These kinds of daily activities helped me develop my design-thinking skills. As if I was a tree with the possibility of withering, my mother’s wisdom watered and poured sunshine to revive me to thrive.

When I was getting my doctorate in the UK, I got the privilege to get accepted by a private intercollegiate hall as a student accommodation in London. Accommodation housing has a long history and tradition, which holds different classic events. The admission requires submitting reference letters from my advisor and writing samples. They held different evening events for students, like the one from Harry Potter, advisors would take their students and chaperones for a classic dinner party. The place was the only private intercollegiate accommodation that would hold the queen’s visit events.         


As much as the place was referred to as classic and traditional, it meant that I had to deal with more inconvenience. Leaving modern housing I lived with my mother and moving into the old building with other students, I started facing a huge inconvenience right away, which was sending all the collections I got in the UK to Korea. First of all, my mother had a huge collection, which means I had thousands of packages delivered to me. Secondly, any package for the students will be taken to the central reception office before sending them up to each student. Lastly, I had less personal space to store all these collections compared to the house I used to live with my mother. Sometimes, I would purposefully ignore the phone ringing from the reception office to avoid the hassle to figure out where to put the antiques. The hassle, however, turned into a proud moment when I send out the antique collections to Korea. The more I send the collection, the prouder I got, and I was gaining more and more respect and appreciation for those collections.  


After I earned my doctoral degree, I came back to Korea and started working. The first thing I decided to take interest in was to start creating my own collection. As soon as I told my mother about my decision, she happily took me to her old antique store in Insa-dong. The owner or I would call him the master, the elderly gentleman who had my mother (and me) as his regular customer for decades, welcomes me and opened his collection space for me. He would teach me about precious (and expensive) antiquities and artifacts.

He would teach me things like, “if there is a spot that is not cold when you touch the celadon, it means that spot was repaired,” “The reason why this celadon is yellow is that it was buried in the ground for a long time, “You see this mark here? This happened due to the support fixture when this dish was in the kiln. It does not mean it is imperfect or a faulty product.”

When I started learning from him, I asked the master for a favor. I told him, “Sir, I can send you only a small amount of money each month from my wage, and when it becomes the right amount worth for a good antiquity, can I have that right one?” It took a very long time to finally get a tea China from the master, and that became my first collection. A couple of years later, the master passed away after a long battle with diabetes. To me, he was like a teacher and like a grandfather. I immediately asked his family if it would be okay for me to pay for his casket as a courtesy to the master.  I took my money from my savings account. Although he is not here, everything he taught me became the foundation of the Design Thinking Museum.


The Design Thinking process is based on empathy and reasoning to combine art and problem-solving skills to derive comprehensive ability creatively. It is a solution to creatively find a way to view the world with wisdom and flexibility. Here at the Design Thinking Museum, many antiquities from all around the world contain stories that were created by a design-thinking process.


The design-thinking process is a problem-solving skill that could change the world. It contains the significance of humane qualities, which are empathy and creativity.

It circles around human life. Experience and enjoy the stories that show how people thought about design and benefits in the antiquity collections at the museum.