EXPO 2025: South Korea Pavilion
OverviewKorea’s pavilion aims to encapsulate the theme of 'connecting lives' at the 2025 Expo by framing it through the unique lens of Korean society's upbringing. It uses cultural elements as a unifying thread to illustrate the concept of “We”, emphasizing the collective 'we' over the individual 'I.' The goal is to explore Korea's collectivist nature and its influence on the nation, encouraging visitors to collaborate and work together, ultimately leaving feeling inspired by Korean culture.
The Korean word for our, “woori”, is used to describe and reference a person or community to which a person belongs. For example, when referencing the nation, people will say “woori nara” (our country). This concept is used for the pavilion as an opportunity to learn about Korea’s collectivist nature and how it influences Korea as a nation
“We, Not I”
ResearchMy research was largely condensed into three time periods of the past, present, and future. I was especially drawn to Korea’s unique story of economic growth that led to its rapid development, known as the “miracle on the Han river”.
User JourneyThe pavilion follows a linear path, diving into the past, present, and future of Korea. Through all steps of the journey, visitors directly engage with Korean culture. While highlighting the main themes and goals of the Expo, the pavilion ultimately seeks to excite visitors about Korea as a country.
I utilized the imagery and motif of the Han River bridge, which is directly related to the story of the “miracle on the han river”, in order to connect the past to the future. Pictured below, the Banpo Bridge features a water fountain and light show that matches audio to the physical environment.
Spatial InterventionI chose to fully design the future space, in which I envisioned a three-layered interaction guided by the physical bridge. Upon entering, visitors first passively engage with the interior and exterior projections of the bridge before moving to the outer areas where the drums are located.
Physical PrototypingI created a physical prototype for the traditional drum, utilizing 3D printing and cardboard to create the drum and drumsticks. Utilizing Arduino and IoT technology, force sensors are located at each corner of the drum and the middle, which inputs if contact is made with the area. This data is sent to the drumsticks, which light up in response to the location and amount that the drum has been hit.
1. Passive ProjectionThe first layer encompasses a passive experience that showcases the description of various communities in Korea, as guests walk through the bridge and examine each projection. It acts as a first walk-through experience to better understand the association between the communities and colors, as well as the problem spaces within these communities. Each color represents a different community being represented, in which the colors are based off of the traditional Korean color scheme.
2. Active ProjectionThe second layer is an active experience where you can control the outer projections using the drum. The outer projections showcases specific descriptions of each individual tech, which change based on the drum interaction. Users can hit the drum two different ways to create two different sounds, this unique feature of the drum is utilized to create different outputs of content. Each corner represents the color of the different communities. Keep drumming until you reach the threshold and once it is reached, the center symbol lights up, encouraging you to hit it. Hit the center to cycle through specific content in the active experience. Once hit, it randomly chooses a new specific technology to be projected for the outside projection of the color was hit.
3. Group InteractionGoing back to the pavilion’s theme, how can visitors be encouraged to work together to achieve a common goal? Users can either work together to reach the threshold for one color faster, or hit two different colors to reach the threshold and change the projection for different colors.