To celebrate the grand opening of Seoul Citizen’s Hall, South Korea, a contest was held to create a structure based on the idea of giving the citizens of Seoul a larger voice.

Arch2o-Yobosayo Yang Soo and Lifethings   (14)

Courtesy of Yang Soo and Lifethings

The winner of this competition is an artist named Yang Soo, who collaborated with the South Korean firm Lifethings, to produce ‘Yobosayo,’ otherwise known as the ‘big ear.’  Yobosayo is a red and white public structure located in the Seoul Plaza, outside the new Citizen’s Hall, that stands 8 feet tall and records the proposals of the citizens of Seoul.

Arch2o-Yobosayo Yang Soo and Lifethings   (19)

Courtesy of Yang Soo and Lifethings

Yobosayo is a Korean phrase used to start a conversation, much like ‘hello.’ This acoustic installation records the requests, stories, and messages that citizens say in the confidence of the ‘big ear’ that are later heard by fellow residents in the Citizen’s Hall.

citizenhall_diagram_final

Courtesy of Yang Soo and Lifethings

The Citizen’s Hall then records how often and how long people stop to listen to certain ideas. If an idea is popular, the track is kept in the records for people to continue to listen to. If the idea does not attract enough attention, Yabosayo becomes a digital ecosystem, recycling the old tracks using a voice-distortion algorithm to turn the recorded track into a song.

Arch2o-Yobosayo Yang Soo and Lifethings   (15)

Courtesy of Yang Soo and Lifethings

These songs are later played as background music in the Citizen’s Hall. This interactive artwork is an ingenious way for the residents of Seoul to be involved in their community.

 By Veronica Mattboni

Courtesy of Yang Soo and Lifethings

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