When people first think about the word ‘invention,’ images come to mind of a smart and hardworking man confined to the back room and drawing his plans. However, in the past, invention started from extraordinary thinkings in daily life. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) finds the passion of vice-president ‘Extraordinary women,’ Choi ji Hye (CHOI). She said, “We believe through the thinking “How about this? Why did it become like this? Is it more convenient if we change it to be like this?” The routine can create wonderful inventions. And similarly minded-women who just think ame gathered into one group, “Extraordinary women.”
SMT Why you do you call the group “Extraordinary women?” And the field of inventing is so strange that women seem to be not that prominent. But beyond the biased view, why establish this invention group?
CHOI “Extraordinary women” was just founded to inspire women and children to create inventions by thinking in a more extraordinary way, and to accept inventions as easy things. The motto made by our seniors is: “innovative power to change the world” and they want to generalize invention. That’s why our group was founded. We believe ‘extraordinary’ does not only indicate ‘different,’ it includes unexpectedly special and fantastic. Normal people, not intelligent people, can have unexpected discoveries in everyday life and turn it into reality, and it is called ‘invention.’
SMT What inspired you to make an invention? And please introduce your invention and inspiration to make it.
CHOI SMU doesn’t have an engineering college which studies metals, machines, and chemistry, so there are lots of problems where we cannot develop our thinking related with those fields. However, the members’ majors are varied; therefore, we always have more amazingly diverse and useful ideas than anticipated. The representative invention of our group is called ‘onetouch hygienic pad’ which was inspired from the difficulties of women’s routines. Women always feel troubled that they roll dirty pads that they have to throw away by hand. For solving this difficulty, one of our seniors recommended a thread that hangs in the pad first and can be pulled instead, then the pad is rolled by itself. It didn’t seem to be a big and extraordinary invention, because we only added a thread on the pad. However, that is the way we were inspired to and create the invention.
SMT What are the standards of great invention? Why?
CHOI In my own thinking, a standard to evaluate a great invention begins from how much the invention affects people’s lives. I think ‘one-touch hygienic pad’ itself was an extremely fantastic invention because all the women feel really burdensome when they roll the pads every time they used them. However, the point is they just missed it, most of people used to miss all the inspiration of the routine. Without large-scaled technology, solving the difficulties of daily life deserves to be called great invention.
SMT Is there any special invention competition or some episode in activities?
CHOI I felt really impressive that we worked as staff for the women’s invention convention held by COEX (Convention & Exhibition Center). Many companies took their own inventions to introduce them to customers, and the convention sponsor gave opportunities to the invention groups of many universities to explain our inventions. We also took part in the exhibition with our seniors’ inventions called “silicone brassiere.” Nude brassieres cannot hold up women’s breast and shape well, but this invention with special form helps women to fit to their breast and keep their shape as well. Customers, especially men customers, were embarrassed in asking about women’s brassieres, however they showed lots of interest in our invention. At that time our heart was full with overflowing joy and pride as if we represented women.
People always called us the “First” women-only invention group. We feel proud of ourselves rather than feel heavy that there is a burden and responsibility on us. We established the first invention group in a women’s university and in the field of invention, which men usually dominate. In the same position with men, we represent women’s thinking, so we have high self-confidence. For acting up to all the expectation, we always do our best to think, inspire ourselves and keep creating. We are always turning on our antennas to all the things in the universe.
PHOTOS FROM CHOI