condenCITY_65 urban green space

Green space is redefined in Seoul, with all of the environmentally conscience advantages to go with it. Packed in tight lots throughout the city are multi-story driving ranges, free from the burdens and labors landscape care and excessive water use. These diaphanous green giants, boasting lightweight space frames and strikingly green nets, are second home to thousands of golf fanatics who stand on its platform edges both day and night, gazing out into the urban-wilderness.

Seoul green space.

Lost Cities (to be rediscovered in time)

In the wake of the massive 8.9 quake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan on Friday the 11th of March is certainly cause for contemplation. Being within a stones throw from Japan here in Korea, of one of the more seismically active regions on the planet. The incomprehensible carnage left by the trembler and tsunami, caused the north eastern Japanese coastline to be displaced by an estimated 8 feet (2.4m) and vast areas of towns and cities leveled. 

Earthquake and tsunami preparations in Japan are amongst the most stringent in the world. Tokyo's ability to survive largely in tact in the aftermath, might be testament to this. With substantial damages to be sure, the mega-city of Tokyo, considering what might have been with out such rigorous seismic standards, would have been much more serious comparatively in other parts of the world. It is stammering, for example, to think about such a quake in California and in retrospect of Japan's tragic experience, should provoke an awakening of response in other parts of the world with similar earthquake potential. 

We may look to Japan, as we have in decades past, for innovations in Architecture and perhaps the thoughtful approaches to 'details' in modern life. I consider now the future of a design profession and the creative responses to be seen in coming years, as a country rebuilds and again, as it has had to in the past, critically rediscovers and shapes the future of cities worldwide.


condenCITY_64 city of shadows 1.0

Yesterday I left Seoul and entered the city of shadow. Constructed entirely of its history as it was and as it remains. Bound in starkly banal newness this city stands apart. Defined by neighbors of contrast working side by side. The narrow streets recede in shadow to depths at times unknown and unseen. Light penetrates only so far to stir our imaginations. By invitation we enter and bypass the ground level activity. Blue sky gives way to encrusted corridor and each door with its cast of characters remaining as mysterious as the street below.