As the second exhibition in the Graduate School of Design’s New Trajectories series, Convergent Flux: Korea presents a provocative cross-section of the innovative architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design projects recently undertaken within this rapidly evolving country.
Although South Korea is roughly only the size of the state of Maine and challenged by mountainous geography and a fraught political legacy, its cultural and economic reach has extended globally during the last half-century; likewise, the global scale has become part of the Korean consciousness. Yet the intense engagement with international influences has not led to the proliferation of generic design, as many critics of the increasingly networked world have predicted. Instead, productive and inspiring syntheses have emerged, drawing heavily on Korea’s rich history and the specificity of the country’s urban population density and infrastructural development, and its design culture’s nuanced expressions of materiality.
The exhibition reflects the hybridized condition in contemporary Korean society that has provided a dynamic territory for experimentation. What is remarkable about this display of work is not merely the distinction seen in the individual projects but the significance of the unique context from which such compelling design emanates.
John Hong, Curator
Hailim Suh, Advisor