Seoul Remade: Design of the ‘Kool’ and the Everyday

The central issue of the studio is the remaking of a contemporary city landscape, fabric and district in Seoul, Korea which is undergoing rapid transformation. More particularly, what are the techniques and practices that a designer brings to bear in working or reworking individual parts of an urban district that takes account of the concerns, dreams, ambitions and most importantly practical everyday desires of the vast numbers of young citizens working and residing in a global city center.

The studio will examine these locations of generational shift (‘Kool’ space) and ideas of cultural identity, legibility and material expression in a time of ubiquitous communications, ease of movement and search for inclusion. The ‘Remade’ of the studio’s title refers to the instructor’s belief in the central role that design at multiple scales can play in remaking a new spatial, social, ecological, and economic identity in the city as well as an approach that projects Seoul as a international twenty-four hour center of popular culture, entrepreneurship, and design invention. This currently stand at odds to the reality of the everyday lived experience of the city.

The studio is also structured around the Instructor’s belief that GSD advanced option studios are a place for individual investigation of design ideas and their elaboration. Students will concern themselves with small-scale interventions and their replicability, urban scale and identity, the issues of design authenticity, the use of cultural history, the rationale for program and questions of spatial identity, the economic viability of regeneration, and will develop attitudes to making within the constraints of a dense urban fabric that continues to require or accommodate significant physical transformations over the next decade.

Seiyong Kim, Visiting Scholar, will be involved in this studio.