Altered Faces: Reworking the Teheran Corridor, Seoul, Korea

Instructors:Niall KirkwoodAlistair McIntoshWoo-kyung SimCourse Description:The topic of the studio is the temporal nature of the urban landscape in the 21st century global city. As continued urbanization expands centers of population around the world, the built landscape still holds to the humanistic idea of an evolving reconstruction of the natural world whose face is marked by cultural endeavors and in which each successive alteration reworks the dimensions of the material city surface that is found in place. The studio will transform the strategic alteration of public infrastructure into a precise examination of the present urban landscape and speculate through design action about the global city\’s future environmental properties and form.Three interconnected issues will be explored that are necessary for the designer to master- design formulation, site trajectory and design practices that build from individual detail proposals to a more expansive and rigorous comprehension of the future environment of a global urban center. The instructors will focus on these issues to develop techniques in each student to tackle individual plans and their elaboration. In particular, natural site processes will be considered as robust and vital to the design enterprise rather than sentimental or incidental.The study area is located in the southern part of the City of Seoul, Korea and contains large-scale infrastructural elements built for the 1988 Olympic Games around an intensely developed fabric all set within an elongated granite valley.Studio MethodologyThe studio will be structured around work in areas of design investigation of particular interest to the instructors: The first concerns the act of making in the contemporary urban landscape. Students will explore an ideology of objectivity regarding the tectonic and typological elements of the contemporary urban landscape. The second area of design concerns the productive engagement with the given site in Seoul. Five methods of examining the site will be undertaken; historical/geographic, phenomenal/environmental, comparative, cultural and speculative. The third area of design concerns the practice of landscape design in a manner that is congruent with the first and second points.Studio SiteThe site for this design investigation is an existing section of the City of Seoul in Korea that stretches from the Woo myun Mountain in the west to the Olympic Park in the east, a distance of approximately ten (10) km. The future replanning of the Teheran Corridor as it is known is currently underway through a demonstration project titled \’Greenway Corridors\’ under the auspices of the Korean Ministry of Environment and the Landscape Architecture Research Institute at Korea University. Site VisitThe studio will undertake a required trip to Seoul in late February (approximately 19th- 26th February), funded by the Landscape Architecture Research Institute at Korea University and the Korean Ministry of Environment through the auspices of Professor Sim of Korea University. The class will examine and study contemporary as well as historic landscapes in the Korean tradition.