HASTILY rebuilt after the Korean War, Seoul is shedding its once-gritty image to become one of Asia’s most glittering metropolises. Under its design-obsessed mayor, Oh Se-hoon, the city has been spiffed up with everything from sleek bus shelters to decked-out bridges. What’s more, it was named this year’s World Design Capital by an international design alliance. But that’s just the beginning. Seoul has a booming contemporary art scene, fashionable stores throughout the urban landscape, and a thriving pop and youth culture that now rivals that of other Asian capitals like Tokyo.