On 25 October, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education launched Edu-Design (edu-design.org), a website that will serve as the administrative platform upon which it will handle architectural design competitions trained on educational facilities. Before this introduction, the Office of Education handled the entire process of design competitions, from submission to judging, offline. The office plans to improve fairness and administrative convenience through this latest change.
Edu-Design will allow the Education Office to sidestep previous mechanisms such as private contracts or bidding systems, and thereby avoid many of the inconveniences that were characteristic to previous competitive processes. Prior procedures required participants to visit the Office of Education Support in person to sign up and register their submissions, straining administrators’ capacity to tend to even general tasks. Edu-Design will reduce design and administrative workloads by digitising these proceedings.
Since 2016, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education administered architectural competitions according to the Act on the Promotion of the Building Services Industry, but one shortcoming was the dissemination of relevant information and data to the respective arms of municipalities (such as the Office of Education Support). The new system will streamline this communicative function and enable easy and transparent access to procedural details for anyone who seeks them.
Cho Heeyeon, the superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, expanded on the benefits of the new web portal as ‘a step towards a consumer-focused culture in school architecture and an engine that drives design developments for the Seoul Office of Education’.