RISD in SEOUL
In Fall 2017, RISD is launching, the second iteration of RISD in SEOUL, a unique interdisciplinary semester program open to all RISD students in their Junior and Senior year. The program is in collaboration with the South Korean partner Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea.
Like RISD's long-standing EHP (European Honors Program) in Rome, RISD in SEOUL takes students to another global city for a fully immersive academic and cultural experience. In fall 2017/18, the semester-long program will provide an opportunity for RISD students to explore the contemporary life of millennials living in dense urban environments in East Asia, while working with students from Ewha University.
The 12 selected RISD students will be immersed in Seoul’s urban life and neighborhoods, working on a collaborative project with 12 Ewha students in a six-credit Studio course lead by Faculty Lead Peter Yeadon, RISD Professor in Interior Architecture. RISD students will also develop their individual study in a three-credit Studio Concentration course also taught by Yeadon. The RISD in SEOUL program is housed in a dedicated studio space that is situated within the urban environs of central Seoul, and at Ewha's campus nearby. The students will also attend a liberal art class at Ewha University and will have an opportunity to experience a research field trip to other megacities in East Asia, to explore the different metropolitan dynamics and compare how density and affordability has induced the rise of tiny micro-apartments.
RISD in SEOUL 2017/18: Urban Microfutures
During the past fifty years, many metropolises have grown significantly. But few have exploded as dramatically as Seoul, which now has 25 million people. The city has reached a population density that is second only to Paris, and is now twice that of New York. In fact, you would have to stack the city of Rome on top of itself seven times in order to match the population density of Seoul. And like other cities, that rapid evolution is not abating, and so the ongoing need for both density and affordability has produced some new, innovative approaches to living in the city. This will be the focus of our study in 2017, as we envision what life might be like in the global cities of the future.
The six-credit Studio course will focus on micro-housing in Seoul, as a model for future urban living in global cities. We will launch the semester with visits to some Goshiwon dwellings. These are tiny micro-apartments that are usually not more than 120 square feet in size, and often have shared common areas. Seoul is renowned for its Goshiwons, thanks in part to publications that have featured the Songpa Micro-Housing project by SSD. There are Goshiwons located at Ewha, Hongdae, Sinchon, Daeheung, Hoegi, and elsewhere, and they have become important precedents for micro-housing initiatives in other global cities that are concerned about urban density and affordable housing.
Collaborating in small teams of two or three RISD and Ewha students, we will work together to observe, create, and present some future visions of what Goshiwon micro-apartments might be. We will study the vibrant neighborhoods that support Goshiwon living, the shared and constrained private spaces of the Goshiwons, the activities they support, and the objects that they contain. Looking for opportunities to innovate, we’ll design our own Goshiwons, right down to the tiniest detail. Nothing is too small to ponder. And the project itself, to observe Goshiwons and imagine the future of urban living, is intended to invite a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach that engages all of RISD’s creative talent.
In contrast with the collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of the Studio project, the three-credit Studio Concentration course is an opportunity for each student to propose and complete their own independent study during their time in Seoul. Some studies are best undertaken alone, so this is an important opportunity for each student to work independently on a project that they propose, and that has merit. Each proposal must be in the form of a course syllabus, with clear learning objectives and outcomes, agreed evaluation criteria, and a schedule. Additionally, the Studio Concentration work should somehow be informed by our study of life in Seoul. After all, if the work is not connected to Seoul in some way, then why on earth are we there?
The three-credit Liberal Arts Seminar course will provide students with a broad grounding in Korean history and contemporary culture. It will be taught by Ewha professors from the Korean Studies Department. The course surveys Modern Korean Culture, as influenced by Korean Tradition, China, Japan, the US, and modern developments. This will be a lecture / site visit course using North and South Korea as the main subjects. The course is approved for three RISD HPSS or LAEL credits.
RISD in SEOUL, Faculty Lead
For Fall 2017/18, RISD has appointed Peter Yeadon (Professor, RISD Interior Architecture) as the lead faculty member for the semester program. Since 2002, Yeadon has worked closely with students from several departments in his studio and seminar courses at RISD.
“Working with students from a variety of disciplines and being able to serve the whole School through its committees,” he says, "is more closely aligned with what I do when I’m not at RISD, in terms of my most satisfying and successful creative collaborations with others." --Peter Yeadon
His practice, Yeadon Space Agency, is an entirely collaborative enterprise in New York City that engages a diverse range of multidisciplinary partners on projects that range from products and apparel, to land art and architecture.
RISD in SEOUL students will receive 12 RISD credits, which includes the six-credit Studio course and the three-credit Studio Concentration, both taught by the RISD Faculty Lead Peter Yaedon , plus a three-credit Liberal Arts Seminar (HPSS or LAEL) taught in English by Ewha faculty. If desired, an additional three-credit elective course can be chosen from offerings at Ewha (e.g., Korean language) for a total of 15 RISD credits for the entire semester.
The 12/15 credit RISD in SEOUL semester is open to all RISD advanced students from all departments (6 studio credits + 3 departmental elective credits + 3 HPSS or LAEL credits). This is a collaborative, supportive enterprise where different disciplines combine to give a deep understanding of the context and where our individual work lends insight to the creation of complex results.
Collaborations and Internship opportunities
Since Seoul is home to the largest group of international RISD alumni, the past edition of RISD in Seoul has seen a strong collaboration with the vibrant local art and design RISD community. Students will be eligible for internships to be held during Wintersession Semester, once the fall semester program is concluded. Credit bearing Internships that are approved by the student’s department are taken for 3 credits for a minimum of 100 hours total. Please contact RISD Careers for additional informations.
Facilities and Accommodation
RISD students enrolled RISD in SEOUL will be housed in shared accommodations on EWHA University campus residence dorms. The student will have a 24/7 access to a dedicated studio space that is situated in central Seoul, very closed to Ewha campus. RISD students will also have access to all EWHA facilities.
RISD in SEOUL is open to all students at RISD in their Junior and Senior Year. Advanced and graduate students in any department are welcome to apply.
RISD in SEOUL applications must be submitted during Sophomore or Junior year. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to be eligible and they must remain in good academic standing up until, and throughout, their time in the program.
Students must demonstrate general qualifications of maturity, motivation, and emotional stability. Students must remain in good standing at RISD, in terms of conduct and finances.
Fall 2017/18 Deadline
Fall 2017/18 deadline for RISD in SEOUL applications is Monday, March 27th, 2017. Students will be notified of a decision around the end of April.
Through generous funding provided by the Korea Foundation, need-based scholarship funds will be awarded to selected students once they’re accepted in the program.
RISD in SEOUL Costs:
The program's costs for the semester program are:
- Standard RISD tuition: one-half college tuition and one-half student activity fee
- GeoBlue Worldwide travel medical & international insurance: $280 (rate for 2016/17)
- Housing at Ewha dorms: Range for single room, $1,400-$2400; Range for double room $1,200-$1,500. Cost varies according to the facility type.
- Program Fee: Estimated $2,650
- Personal Expenses: Estimated $1,350
- Visa Fee: Estimated $80
- Administrative fee: $60
The program fee includes all local transportation and the field trip to an South Asia country (still TBD). Meals, airfare to Seoul, Student Visa (approximately $80), local transportation, materials are all out of pocket expenses. Please note: meal plans are not available at Ewha.
How to apply
Prior to applying, all students are invited to attend the information sessions held on campus. Notifications of these sessions are posted on the RISD calendar and tweeted by RISD Global.
All students must consult their Academic Advisor and Department Head to ensure that all required credits will be met prior to graduation. Note that English credits are not part of the RISD in SEOUL curriculum.
The entire application process will be completed using SlideRoom. You will be able to upload, request and submit all required documents through SlideRoom.
The application process consists of the following documents:
1. The statement of purpose (max 500 words) is a key component of the application process.
a. Please indicate why you are a strong candidate for the RISD in SEOUL program and the reason for your interest in working within Seoul, South Korea and East Asia.
b. Demonstrate your commitment and interest in interdisciplinary approaches to studio work.
c. Communicate how you image this independent studio-based program benefitting the development of your art and design practice.
d. Speak to your ability to succeed within a studio environment, with site-specific resources and in a multidisciplinary context, beyond the reliance on particular equipment and/or materials.
2. Two letters of recommendation from RISD Faculty you have had within the last year (requested and sent through the Reference section in Slideroom)
3. Approval from Department Head and Academic Advisor (requested and sent through the Reference section in Slideroom) (If your Department Head and Academic Advisor are the same person, both approvals will be sent as one. Department Head/Academic Advisor cannot provide a faculty recommendation.)
4. Terms of Agreement Form: an agreement setting the standard for appropriate behavior. (Scan the signed form and upload through Slideroom.)
5. A selection of 10-15 images of your work. These images may reflect projects you would like to pursue while in Seoul, or your strongest, most recent major and non major-related work. Include descriptions of each image, the work’s title, medium, and dimensions.
6. Passport photo page
Sign in to Slideroom at the following link to submit your application:
The selection process
The European Honor Program Faculty Committee members review and approve students’ applications. As part of the selection, the committee pays particular attention to the students’ statement of interest and portfolio. Aim of the Committee is to bring together a diverse and cross-departmental group of students each semester.
In order to study abroad in South Korea for the semester, a valid passport and South Korean visa are required. RISD Global will facilitate the visa process in collaboration with the student. The RISD in SEOUL Student Handbook acts as an invaluable resource, providing vital information on everything from the preliminary processes to your time in Seoul. For a handbook and other vital documents, please visit info.risd.edu/risd-global.
RISD in SEOUL schedule
The fall semester program is composed of 16 weeks, starting the first week of September, 2017 and closing in the 3rd week of December, 2017.
Each fall semester, one or more tours are offered to introduce students to other cities and regions in East Asia, such as China, Hong Kong, Japan.