We Belong Here: A Unifying Design Concept

Jiyun Kim's Award-Winning Design Promotes Cross-Cultural Understanding

Spinning tops, a universal symbol of play and unity, have inspired Jiyun Kim's award-winning design project, "We Belong Here". This innovative concept, which won the Silver A' Design Award in 2023, uses a top-making kit as an educational tool to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

Jiyun Kim's design was inspired by the universal appeal of spinning tops, a form of entertainment found in many cultures. Recognizing the potential of this simple toy to transcend language and cultural barriers, Kim developed a top-making kit for use in educational programs. The kit serves as an ice-breaking activity, allowing students to create their own tops and engage in friendly competition, thereby promoting communication and understanding.

"We Belong Here" stands out for its unique approach to promoting diversity and equality. The top-making kit enables students to express their individual identities while participating in a shared activity. This fosters a sense of belonging and mutual respect, essential elements in a diverse educational environment. The design's strengths lie in its simplicity, inclusivity, and its ability to facilitate communication and collaboration.

The technical specifications of the project include a top-making kit measuring 11 inches by 17 inches and a poster measuring 24 inches by 36 inches. The project was part of Otis Design Week, during which students created their own tops and used them for a group activity. The movement of the tops formed the letters "We", symbolizing unity and collaboration.

The design process presented several challenges, including the creation of a symbol free from cultural bias. To address this, Kim opted for a neutral color scheme, similar to that of the Olympic Games, which is universally recognized and accepted. The result is a design that promotes inclusivity without favoring any particular culture.

"We Belong Here" was showcased at Otis Design Week, which took place from August 22nd to August 29th, 2021, at Otis College of Art and Design. The project was well-received, fostering a sense of community and setting a positive tone for the academic year. This interactive exhibition branding concept encourages cross-cultural collaboration and promotes inclusivity and equality, making it a valuable addition to any educational program.

In recognition of its innovative approach and positive impact, "We Belong Here" was awarded the Silver A' Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is given to designs that demonstrate outstanding expertise and innovation, and that evoke positive feelings and amazement. Jiyun Kim's design certainly fits this description, showcasing a remarkable level of excellence and introducing a new way of fostering cross-cultural understanding.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Lia Jiyun Kim
Image Credits: Lia Jiyun Kim
Project Team Members: Lia Jiyun Kim
Project Name: We Belong Here
Project Client: Lia Jiyun Kim

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