Register: OCT/27/2019, Submit: NOV/06/2019, Eligibility: Students, professionals, institutions; all design disciplines; individually, teams with unlimited number of members, Fee: Students 20 USD, professionals 25 USD, institutions 80 USD (MAY/15 – JUN/14/2019); students 25 USD, professionals 35 USD, institutions 100 USD (JUN/15 – OCT/27/2019); (more details on the competition website), Awards: Winner: 5,000 USD; 3 Runner-up (2 students and 1 professional): 1,500 USD each; 4 People’s Choice (2 students and 2 professionals): 500 USD each; 14 Honorable Mentions (7 students and 7 professionals): 250 USD each; (more details on the competition website)
The 21st century has seen the most rapid shifts in how we live – what we do, driven by technologies and will continue to steer at a similar pace. From a time when humans were doing most of the work by hand, innovation led to the formation of tools, making our work efficient. The same tools were used to build machines that made work even more effortless for us. Robots are now the next big thing happening where machines could do almost everything; even build themselves.
Beyond this, a steady transition has been seen from manual to digital where how we work has changed with these shifts. The humankind’s push to develop more and more in this race to stay ahead, the ways we work has transformed tremendously as well. A world more connected via digital merging with physical – is now the only norm that is constant.
While machines evolve at a tremendous speed, it will be humans who will have to keep up by bringing more value to survive to get tougher with growing automation. Humans today have to work more hours with the changing trends of the world – is a precursor yet significant indicator of this phenomenon today. Eventually, this takes a toll on the human body. If we refer to the ability of the human brain’s ability to change vs. the amount of effort it’s needed to adapt to them, it’s no surprise that middle-aged professionals will be the worst hit by this shift. The most likely case will be our future generation. How can humankind thrive on such downhill when technology is always learning things and automating them? Will this battle against machine go on forever?
In the future when most mundane work can be automated, humans can view this as an opportunity to do more. Technology, instead of fighting against humans for livelihood, can be seen as an enabler to make better use of their time. The design theme for this year’s challenge is to find how technology and humans can work together in singularity in the times to come.
In times when corporations wanting to make their employees work more, how can health and happiness follow in terms of design, with this growing component of work?
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, officially named in 1945 was a historic town which had its initial development due to its trade ties with foreign countries like America and France. After the war, Seoul began to focus on rapid modernization which gave a boost to South Korea’s economy, starting from the 1960s. It is now considered a global city, ranking fourth in order of largest metropolitan economy. After becoming a global city, Seoul became popular for many things around the world – and one of them was the long working hours slowly introduced by employers. The government had to step in to regulate this hefty demand of man hours, but this move didn’t resonate positively with the employers. In future, this move might change the preference to hire human workforce altogether or at least brings a question to various choices. This ignites the question as to how will the work be in 2050 for Seoul or the entire world, in a time when every task stands a risk to get automated? How can humans create more value together to survive in such a future?
Currently, Seoul is a densely globalized city that hosts technology hubs and is home to the headquarters of the world’s leading companies like LG and Samsung. The site finds itself at the end of the Cheonggyecheon culture belt, representing Seoul’s potential urban context in the year 2050. The place is adjoined by densely developed commercial buildings, residential towers and offices. This district is expected to grow even faster and is stated to be one of the most commercially active CBDs of the world. Participants have to visualize this place in the global context of Seoul and generate this model workspace of the future here.
Area: 15527.17 m2. Height limit: No limit. Ground coverage: 65%
Site coordinates: 37°34’08.2″N, 126°58’23.4″E