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A Design Studio Archive, Seoul, Korea

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Last updated on Mar 18, 2020

Graphic Design in South Korea

Faculty: Chris Hamamoto

July 5-23, 2020

Housing check-in: Sunday, July 5
Housing checkout: Thursday, July 23

graphic colorful poster of rectangles and circles on the wall of a design studio in Seoul, South Korea

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, this course is an immersive design experience introducing students to the vibrant and ascendant design culture of Seoul, South Korea, and the uniquely ahistorical work being produced there today. While quickly becoming one of the technology, fashion, and entertainment capitals of the world, Seoul also supports an experimental local design scene, one informed by the global exchange of ideas resulting from Korean designers going abroad and filtering Dutch, American, and Japanese design influences into their own sui generis approach to design. Students take intensive workshops with local practitioners, participate in an experiential neighborhood walking tour with a local designer, conduct design studio visits, and explore numerous sites to gain intimate access and insights into the unique culture of Korean design.

Interior of the graphic design studio, hey joe, in South Korea

During their stay, students also become familiar with broader contemporary and traditional Korean culture by viewing centuries-old architecture at the Bukchon Hanok Village; visiting the Paju Typographic Institute, an experimental school set in Paju Book City; eating ‘temple food;’ and visiting contemporary sites like Piknic, SeMA Seoul Museum of Art, The Book Society, Index, Your Mind, and Post Poetics.

Students stay in the Hongdae area of Seoul, a region known for its historical counterculture roots, indie music scene, art and design, cafes, shopping, and nightlife. The area encompasses Hongik University, home to the country’s top Graphic Design program, where workshops are held. Students have access to Hongik’s design production resources and share in visits from Hongik’s Graphic Design faculty.

Studio visits may include: Sulki and Min, James Chae, Yejin Cho, Kelly Moonkyung Choi, Hey Joe, Studio–Triangle, TEXT, Corners Studio, Ordinary People, Casuko, OCQ, Shin Shin, Yehwan Song, and PAPER PRESS.

Chris Hamamoto has exhibited, taught, and lectured in South Korea. Visiting on several occasions for research – he has actively pursued, and is maintaining, cross-cultural collaborations with Korean designers focused on understanding and introducing contemporary and historic Korean Graphic Design to new audiences while promoting cultural exchange.

Learn more about Christopher Hamamoto »

View of Seoul, Korea
Graphic Design Corners Studio, Seoul, Korea


  • Undergraduate: Successful completion of at least sophomore level by summer 2020 and instructor approval.
  • For Diversity Studies Studio credit: Drawing 1, 2D, 3D, 4D, Writing 1, Foundations in Critical Studies, Intro to the Arts and Intro to the Modern Arts. Junior standing
  • For Graphic Design Advanced Studio Elective credit: Graphic Design 3 (GRAPH-3000) and Typography 3 (GRAPH-3040)
  • Graduate: MFA Design major and instructor approval.

In addition, all students must be in good academic, conduct, and financial standing for the 2019-20 academic year. Students who are on probation in fall 2019 are not eligible to enroll in a 2020 summer study-abroad program.

Course Satisfies

  • For undergraduate students, this course satisfies a Graphic Design Advanced Studio Elective, a Diversity Studies Studio, or a Studio Elective.
  • For graduate students, this course satisfies a Grad-wide Elective.

Program Fee
$5,400 + $50 summer registration fee.

Included in program fee:

  • 3 credits, housing, a few meals, local transportation, guest artist, field trips, entrance fees, and travel/health insurance

Not included in program fee:

  • Airfare to and from Seoul, South Korea, ground transportation to and from the airport, most meals

Please read the Summer Study Abroad Registration & Related Information in its entirety.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions.
All CCA summer study-abroad courses (including Exhibition Brooklyn and New Orleans) are coordinated by the Office of Special Programs.

Office of Special Programs
Oakland Campus, Irwin Student Center

Nina Sadek
Dean of Special Programs

Carol Pitts
Operations Manager, Special Programs