Sojourning in Seoul

Sojourning in Seoul - student project

A Bit About My Main Project

A few years back, I had the chance to live in Seoul, South Korea, for a few months as an exchange student. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the time spent learning a new language and discovering new food & shopping haunts and activities.

It's always nice to get recommendations based on personal experience, so whenever friends make plans to visit Seoul, I pass them a list of my favourite places and activities. Having all these locations mapped out would make it easy for them to plan an itinerary or pick an activity and would also be a great way for me to record the memories of my time there. I don't plan to create a super detailed guide with opening hours, phone numbers and directions, but rather a map that inspire others to explore Seoul for themselves

Here are some ideas for my project (leaning towards #1 at the moment):

  1. My favourite places in Seoul, Korea, with a focus on attractions that probably wouldn't be found in a regular guidebook
  2. A map of just the E-dae area, where the university I attended was
  3. A language map of Seoul, with fun & relevant Korean words or phrases for each spot
  4. Areas in Singapore that I've explored in the 'Local Tourist' posts on my blog 

Why am I making this map?

  • For fun, to map my favourite places & memories in Seoul, for design practice

Why am I the expert to create this map?

  • I'm definitely not an expert on Seoul, but that's okay since this is a non-exhaustive map that shows just the places I like 

Who is my target audience?

  • Anyone who's thinking of travelling to Seoul, friends

Do I want my final project to be printed or digital? How is going to be used/held? What other constraints do I need to keep in mind moving forward? (Note type can be smaller on printed maps than when viewed on web)

  • Both, eventually. I love paper maps, and it would be neat to give my friends a printed copy that they could bring with them, but I know some people would prefer a digital copy because it can be shared and viewed easily. I'll start with a digital version first and work towards creating a printed map. It needs to be mobile-friendly, as I imagine that most on-the-go travellers would view it on their phones.      

What level of detail do I need to include? (Names, addresses, contact info, street names, website, hours, descriptions, color coding, etc.)

  • There shouldn't be too much detail, because I'm hoping to design something that looks clean and minimal, so I'll probably use colour-coding or icons for different kinds of attractions and a short description for each. 

Dear class, I need your help/expertise/guidance on how to.....

  • Create a clear focus for my map. If you have any ideas on how I can make my map better, I would love to hear them. 


Some Map-spiration

Sojourning in Seoul - image 1 - student project

A map-themed infographic wedding invite, designed by Erin Jang

Sojourning in Seoul - image 2 - student project

Vector-style map by Parko Polo / Edward McGowan

Sojourning in Seoul - image 3 - student project

Not sure if this counts as a map, but it's pretty so I'll include it anyway: Los-Angeles Un-Tourist Scarf by Emily McDowell 

Task 1: Hand-Drawn Map - A Guide to My Desk For Ants & Other Insects

Every now and then, my desk at work is visited by a few wandering ants, who don't seem to have any purposed other than to tour the landscape of the table. I doodled this silly map for them, so that they'll be able to find their way around the various "attractions" on my desk more easily. 

Sojourning in Seoul - image 4 - student project

Task 2: My Imaginary City

I went with option A and made this map from some leftover card stock.

My observations from this exercise:

- Roads form the skeleton of a map; it was so much easier to fill in the buildings once the roads were in place. I started with the "main" road - the one running vertically on the left - and had the smaller roads branch out from there

- It's okay if buildings aren't aligned with the road all the time, that's the case with real maps too

Sojourning in Seoul - image 5 - student project

Task 3: Final Project

To get started, I plotted some of my favourite places in Seoul on a map:



Final Project:  Edae Food Adventure Map

I ended up working on a different idea than I intended for my final project, because this new idea would give me the chance to interpret the idea of a map in a new way.

When I started on this project I was hesitant to go with idea #2 from my list - a map showing recommended places in Edae - because most of the food places I had in mind were fairly small restaurants that I recalled by location & dish, rather than name. Also, language would be a problem for most people even if the shop names could be listed. 

While thinking about the sort of directions that would be needed to find one of those places, I had the idea to create a map of food places in Edae that was like a treasure map - with clues and an 'x' to help people find the place. It's a food adventure because you might not find the restaurant you're looking for, but you'll probably still get to try something that's new to you (and hopefully, delicious).

Sojourning in Seoul - image 6 - student project

The clues & map for each restaurant or location would be printed on an A6 card (about 6" x 4") and there's no particular order, so you're free to pick the locations that you want to "hunt" down. The red zone on the map shows roughly where the destination is and helps to narrow down the search area. 

Sojourning in Seoul - image 7 - student project

I only managed to finish 2 cards in time for our project milestone and am planning to continue tweaking the design and working on the hints & directions for the rest of the locations. I would love to hear what you think! Is the colour scheme too drab for something that's meant get you excited about food? Are the directions understandable? Is this a map you would want to try using? ;) 


Trixia Y.