Making A Connection Through Separation
Receiving second prize in the Seoul Urban-Regeneration Exhibition
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Three senior students of the Department of Interior Design Na Myeong-hwa, Ahn Ju-bin, and Park Do-hyun received placed second in the Urban-Regeneration Exhibition held by Seoul City on 17th of July. Teaming up with Professor Hwang Hyun-seok (Department of Interior Design) and a Lim Joo-young (Department of Interior Design, '18), they were the only team consisting of only students to receive a prize in this exhibition.
The targeted area of the exhibition was Majang-dong, an area in Seoul which is famous for its large meat market. However, because the market was not formed through attentive urban planning but rather disorderly, Majang-dong has long been an area of conflict between the area's residents market's merhcants. The main purpose of the exhibition was to ameliorate such confrontation by designing a building in an open space in Majang-dong owned by the city of Seoul .
Divided mainly into two stages, the participating teams were required to submit an overall idea of how they were to use the open space and confront the problem that Majang-dong has long faced. Only 12 teams, out of the 66 that initially applied, made it to the second stage where they provided actual blueprints and images of their planned building. The three students became the only student-comprised team to not only make it to the second stage while competing with other architectural firms and construction offices but to win a prize.
The team had the main theme of connection through separation. By separating Majang-dong into two floors, one for the residents and the other for the merchants, they believed the conflict would also be lessened. “The product market was not a place that one would enjoy passing by due to both the unpleasant visual and olfactory aspects. Even from the merchants’ perspective, the residents passing the market would have been a disturbance to their livelihood,” explained Park.
The two floored building would allow the merchants to maintain their livelihood on the first floor without being disturbed, while the residents would be able to freely pass through the area in a much more pleasant environment on the second floor. Despite the fact that they would become literally separated, this would be a beginning for building an atmosphere of respect towards each other instead of the unpleasant confrontation that the residents and merchants of Majang-dong have been facing.
Although the students have managed to achieve an outstanding result from the exhibition, they were surrounded by pessimistic concerns from their professors and colleagues during the early phases of preparation. “Due to the awareness that such exhibitions and competitions have a high entry barrier, many students are prevented from participating in them. We also faced many difficulties, yet having confidence with our challenge led us to positive results,” maintained Park.
“Keeping the strength to see it through to the end is also important,” added Na as advice. When asked about their future plans, the three students answered that they are now preparing for their graduation exhibition, which is held October 2nd-4th at Hanyang Museum. Based on their experience, it seems that the three students are preparing themselves to once again go beyond the expectations of others and achieve outstanding results.
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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