Urban Negotiations: Gwangju

Mundane days often give way to stimulating nights. It's odd how that unfolds like opposing autumn lovers. With certain frequency it just seems to happen. Boiled Abalone, Soju, and laughs quickly erase boundaries. Gifts are exchanged and conversation reaches with the lengthening shadows of twilight. The air is thick but my mind is at ease.

Does America know this_?

Condencity_10 surface awakening

_San Francisco
Walking home recently I was struck by the surface under my feet- a rather strange awareness. A smooth black stone lining a nearby office building, a textured relationship soft on the foot and easy on the step. With each contact between shoe and stone a perceptibly cushioned connection; such contradiction to what we normally consider an unforgiving surface. It brought me a moment of satisfaction. Reaffirmation that deliberate design choices consider the sacredness of 'ground'; not only in visual regard but that of experiential.

Rarely do most think of 'ground' being sacred. I use the word ground here in the broadest of terms. Ground is usually defined as "the solid surface of the earth; firm or dry land: to fall to the ground." I propose 'ground', for the purposes of this article, as a generic horizontal surface be it floor, sidewalk, land etc. Our determinacy to separate ourselves from this, dirty, to be conquered surface is most common. Considerations beyond aesthetic appeal in western culture are few unless functional requirements warrant more.

Ground and ritual are intertwined in eastern culture. Transition from indoor to outdoor is just one instance where constructed environments are planned to incorporate a place of transformation. The simple act of removing one's shoes prior to entry in dwelling and select places of public gathering brings heightened awareness to surface or 'ground'. Uniquely though is everything axillary to facilitate this transition. Steps, cabinets, material considerations combine to prompt expectations of behavior. Actions of transition become an instinctive way of life.

Anatomy of Travel

I am forever amazed with international travel. One moment the silence of your home and a few hours later it is possible to be halfway around the globe. When traveling I tend take slow means (as a measure of economics and simplicity) in transportation. The reality becomes multiple modes of linked transitions. I just arrived in Seoul after more than 16 hours of global transitions- sequence as follows:

15 minute walk to BART Station
30 minute BART ride to San Francisco International
___2 hour layover
11 hr30min flight to Incheon Airport, Seoul
5 min train ride from Incheon Concourse to Terminal
___30 min layover
50 min bus ride to Seoul city center
15 minute Taxi ride from bus Terminal to Seoul Apartment