Multimedia Systems

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

The city is connections: Seoul as an urban network

  • Jaz Hee-jeong Choi
Regular Paper


With the rise of ubiquitous computing in recent years, concepts of spatiality have become a significant topic of discussion in design and development of multimedia systems. This article investigates spatial practices at the intersection of youth, technology, and urban space in Seoul, and examines what the author calls ‘transyouth’: in the South Korean context, these people are between the ages of 18 and 24, situated on the delicate border between digital natives and immigrants in Prensky’s [46] terms. In the first section, the article sets out the technosocial environment of contemporary Seoul. This is followed by a discussion of social networking processes derived from semi-structured interviews conducted in 2007–2008 with Seoul transyouth about their ‘lived experiences of the city.’ Interviewees reported how they interact to play, work, and live with and within the city’s unique environment. The article develops a theme of how technosocial convergence (re)creates urban environments and argues for a need to consider such user-driven spatial recreation in designing cities as (ubiquitous) urban networks in recognition of its changing technosocial contours of connections. This is explored in three spaces of different scales: Cyworld as an online social networking space; cocoon housing—a form of individual residential space which is growing rapidly in many Korean cities—as a private living space; and ubiquitous City as the future macro-space of Seoul.


Ubiquitous technology Seoul Social networking Cyworld u-City Cocoon housing Urban informatics 



Figure 4 was sourced from Eric Kim’s flickr page (, and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0. See this page for further information about the license: The author has also personally obtained permission from Eric Kim for the use of the image.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Creative Industries PrecinctQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveQLDAustralia

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