Do It Yourself
As society gets technology and industry-savvy, there is an opposite trend ― the user-generated ``do it yourself (DIY).''
The trend has been spotted in home improvement and decoration for a few years, but is rapidly expanding to furniture, cosmetics, house design and even the performing arts.
DIY taps into the spirit of the people ― the spirit of primitive toolmakers.
The trend caters to the new generation, who want to do things for themselves, and represents freedom.
DIY goes back somentime. At first, people developed their own skills and technology and made available tools to take care of their own needs, such as clothing.
But the phrase ``do it yourself'' came into common usage in the 1950s to refer to various jobs that people could do without the help of professionals.
The trend is spreading faster than ever with the evolution of software-as-a-service, in which users can share UCCs to teach people to develop their own applications.
Also, mounting concerns over health and rising prices have prompted consumers to use eco-friendly materials.
The Gyeonggi Urban Innovation Corporation has applied the ``do-it-yourself'' spirit to building apartments.
Although consumers cannot build their apartments themselves, the corporation encourages consumers to make an input in their design.
The corporation held a design contest for new apartment buildings. Among 112 works, 31 have been selected as the best, including ``Unlimited Natural Space,'' an installation of water screens as eco-friendly structures.
Byucksan Engineering and Construction has launched a project called ``Self-Design Apartment-Blooming'' to cater to individual residents' lifestyles.
The company researched the proposals of more than 20,000 consumers in 2005 to construct a customized apartment building through flexible structures called ``flat slabs,'' with which residents can move walls.
If you have MP3 files or WMA on your computer, you can make your own ring tones.
Local mobile portal Mokey (www.mokey.co.kr) offers a service for users to create bell ring tones in an easy and simple way.
Previously, there was a complicated service to help users change music files into bell ring tones.
The service helps people upload music files to the Mokey site, choose the part of the song to use, save it and then download it to their mobile phone.
A growing number of people are hooking up to the Internet before visiting the doctor.
They usually consult Web sites for a self-diagnosis.
The ``DIY doctor service'' is already available in other countries, providing free advice, hints and tips to anyone who posts questions online.
The National Health Insurance Corporation operates the Web service through http://hi.nhic.or.kr to provide the medical information.
In 2007, the number of monthly unique visitors (a statistic describing a unit of traffic to a Web site, counting each visitor only once in the time frame of the report) was 21,000 as of February 2007. In December, the number soared to 190,000.
Nowadays, the performing arts are getting customized, as well. Musical productions are inviting audiences to participate in writing lyrics and titles.
Last year, a local hip-hop musical, ``Rapper's Paradise,'' collected the creative lyrics in Korean from audiences for its title song, ``I'll Be Missing You'' by Puff Daddy.
Also, the production team of ``Finding Kim Jong-wook'' reflected public preference for actors, cast members and stage sets by inviting photos and stories about people's first loves.
The ``do-it-yourself'' spirit is making women grab tools. Opened in 2003, the famous on-line marketplace www.bejane.com sells tools for women and DIY education content such as magazines, CDs and books.
The tools are small and easy and simple to use compared to tools men regularly use.
According to the book ``Hot Trends 40,'' published in Korea, it scored $12,000 in profit in 2004. But two years after, it saw a dramatic increase in sales to $ 300-400 million.
Local shopping malls such as G-Market and Interpark also sell the tools tailored for women.
There's no question that DIY clothing is a good way to create a unique and envy-inspiring wardrobe on a low budget.
Deconstruction, reconstruction, painting, printing or patching ― no matter what process you use, you're limited only by the scope of your imagination.
Various Internet shopping malls enable you to purchase fabrics and textiles.
The Website www.iloveiot.com provides a beginner's manual on how to make children's clothes.
Also, www.1000zip.com and www.wondannara.co.kr present a variety of fabrics with reasonable prices, along with manuals.
As concerns over instant and trans-fat-heavy products rise, many parents are returning to cooking for their children.
A multi-function electronic grill, which is designed for making waffles, and fish-shaped bread called ``bungoebbang'' is on sale at Internet shopping malls such as G-Market and Interpark.
An ice cream maker by Panasonic enables users to make ice cream with their favorite materials after freezing it for three to five hours.
Various Internet shopping malls offer convenient materials designed for people who want to make their own furniture.
People can make wooden beds, doors, dressers and desks if they consult manuals and learn from woodworkers or Web sites such as www.thediy.co.kr and www.ddaymarkt.co.kr.
The self-study furniture manuals include tips on refurbishing old furniture. The manuals are available on the Internet.
There are many decorative types of wallpaper such as wall murals, wallpaper and stickers.
Wall stickers' prices range from 10,000 to 30,000 won. The wall stickers are convenient to use and very trendy, so are appropriate to change the atmosphere each season.
Internet shopping malls such as www.wallartshop.co.kr and www.diyism.co.kr sell a variety of wallpaper.
Cosmetics, soaps and other beauty products can put a dent in a woman's pocket.
Thus, more women are making their own cosmetics, using ingredients such as fruits, natural oils and grain.
Self-made cosmetics need to be checked for suitability for users' skin types to prevent allergic reactions.