Seoul Long Beach “investigation in materiality”

Project Title: Seoul Long Beach\”investigation in materiality\”Natural vs. Artificial materiality in the development of the Han River Edge Seoul, S. Korea\”I don\'t believe in one absolute idea in architecture but thoughtful description and how it is executed.\”The Studio will investigate \'materiality\' as a means to develop an architecture and a place. In lieu of starting the project with ideas of architecture or urbanism that would center on guidelines or programmatic facts, this studio will study mundane \'everyday material\' as to how it will fit into the physical and cultural context of the river edge site in Seoul. A material(s) will be chosen by each student in the beginning of the studio and will be used as a place where the design will originate. Here, by \'materiality\', I would like to indicate the reality of material, of any material. The \'materiality\' will include its own inherent character or its own natural property. The material can be defined as something that can be measured by a physical measurement and in this sense, material(s) that creates phenomena such as light, time, sound, or smell may be included. As we develop an architecture starting from a material that each student has chosen based on his/her own personal interest in architectural exploration or his/her belief for the site\'s physical or cultural context, our process of making architecture in the studio will be empirical based on \'observation\' and \'experimentation\'.By this empirical process of developing the architecture, the proposition of the \'Pragmatist\'s thesis\' will be investigated and discussed in relationship to the materiality in architecture. The Pragmatist\'s thesis was one of the early 20th century\'s most influential philosophies in America and is once again receiving strong attention in today\'s contemporary intellectual discourse.The goal of the Studio is to have students understand a system of architecture that operates clearly with the vision on materiality that in return suggests and drives a specific architectural program and form. It is my vision that through the socio-cultural analysis, students will begin to design with their interest chosen material ingredients and details that will give them an important framework and focus for larger aspects of the project. I believe a higher sensitivity and more focused design can be derived by starting with the material details and then using them as the framework for a large-scale project. Thus, the studio will investigate how an architectural intervention can depart from a single physical material and, furthermore, how this focused architectural intervention can suggest a larger urbanistic intervention.This study will be composed of many integral parts leading into the development of the Han River edge in Seoul. The course will be broken into several different parts, leading students to individual design, and, finally, a negotiated aspect of design.The final proposals are intended to be presented to the mayor of Seoul for possible future development. The entire process, including discussions and arguments, redefinitions, measurements, individual studies and final negotiated proposals, will also be documented and published in a simple bound book-form.The Site and its Material Issue:The Han River has a natural edge character that has been immensely damaged by infrastructure and mega scale development since the 1960s. Recently, though, due to the city\'s effort to restore and control the water quality, the water has become clean and the entire surrounding ecological system is in the process of being recovered. The river edge is becoming more useful and popular as a precious place to enjoy leisure activities. In addition, a grand scale performing art center project was recently given out to competition by the city of Seoul; however, this has been done without careful study of the adjacent surroun