Envisioning Cheongnyangni as Place Young People Love

2021-03-08 Academic

Kyung Hee’s independent research program aims to boost students’ autonomy, creativity, inquiry skills, and cooperation. The program was scaled up in 2016 and then integrated into all majors in the university in 2018, establishing itself as a new characteristic and academic tradition of Kyung Hee education.

Program participants design their study individually or in groups, and carry out their projects for one semester under the guidance of a supervisor professor. Participants are free to engage in research (practical learning), application, participatory activities, venture startups, or job creation. The second semester of 2020 also saw students conducting independent studies on a variety of topics based on their interests and majors. Below is an interview with one of the student groups, called Cheongsajin. They created online content to revitalize traditional markets.<Editor's Note>

Cheongsajin, the team name, means “blueprint” in Korean and is also an acronym for the Korean phrase “The real Cheongnyangni that young people love.” Students Seungwoo Kim and Woohyung Lee of the Department of Management conducted an independent research project to renovate the Cheongnyangni market into a favorite haunt of young people. They created video content to shatter the prejudice and bias young people have for traditional markets and spark their interest in them. Videos are available on their Youtube channel Cheongnyangsanghoe ( featured).

Team Cheongsajin created online content to revitalize the Cheongnyangni traditional market.
Q. What motivated you to start your project? Why did you make it your theme?
Woohyung: Seungwoo and I were looking for places that young people have not frequented. After much deliberation, we noticed traditional markets. Although there is one near Kyung Hee, I as well as my friends rarely visit or shop there. This is partly because of the stereotype that local markets are inferior to big stores or supermarkets in terms of accessibility and hygiene. I wanted to dispel such misunderstandings and increase their interest in the place. People say a region prospers only when its local market prospers. I was convinced that flourishing markets would be good news to young residents as well. After discussing which platform to use for promotion, we picked young people’s favorite YouTube to upload our videos.

Q. What is the video content about?
Woohyung: Basically, it consists of dialogues or interviews with the merchants at the market. The first video is about finding a merchant master in the Cheongnyangni market. It contains an interview with a fruit expert who knows how to tell what produce is in good quality. This master was the manager of the merchant association. He was not only good at sorting out good apples and pears but also fast at folding boxes, a topic for which he suggested to make another content. His enthusiasm turned our task into great fun. A content by the young living in Dongdaemun-gu ― This is our strong point as well as what sets this project apart from others.

“Student-led independent studies give us the pleasure to work in our fields of interests. “
Q. What have you earned from conducting independent research?
Seungwoo: It is meaningful that I put into practice the theory that I learned here at the University. Importantly, researching what I desire and excel in is the beauty of this independent program. I design by myself and suggest my plan to professors before doing it. The biggest advantage is that students serve the leading role during class, not the supervisor professor.

Woohyung: I learned how to share what I can with people outside the University. Humanitas College and my major as well as the independent research program have taught me that the world is where people must live together, which I truly realized during this project. I experienced that we can create a better place to live when we do it together.

Q. What did you find during your university years?
Seungwoo: I entered through the comprehensive school records screening (Neo-Renaissance). After admission, I was introduced as an exemplary case in the screening guidebook Lion. This honor infused me with enough confidence to open a YouTube channel, where I share my tips and experiences with high school students. Since then, I have engaged in video-related activities. My interest in video creation has continued in the independent studies program.

Also, I conducted a living lab project with students from the Industrial Design, Visual Design, and Culinary & Service Management Departments. All of them were good. For example, when we visited the Moseulpo Market, which opens once every five days, people there asked if they could purchase promotional materials made by the Visual Design majors. Their excellence served as a stimulus for me. Participating in various programs run by Kyung Hee gave opportunities to expand my capabilities and viewpoints.

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