A cross-cultural study of architectural production in Korea and the West: cultural transfer within South Korean architecture and urbanism, 1990-2010

Jang, J. 2013. A cross-cultural study of architectural production in Korea and the West: cultural transfer within South Korean architecture and urbanism, 1990-2010. PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment https://doi.org/10.34737/8z035

TitleA cross-cultural study of architectural production in Korea and the West: cultural transfer within South Korean architecture and urbanism, 1990-2010
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsJang, J.
Abstract

This thesis examines the issue of cultural transfer within the context of modern Korean architecture and urbanism from 1990 to 2010 in light of globalising forces. My research is based on the proposition that the emergence of any new architecture in South Korea cannot be simply categorized according to the terms familiar in predominant western architectural theories and practices. To demonstrate this point, it investigates a range of contemporary Korean cultural conditions: hyper-digitisation of everyday life, prevalence of crowd-sourced popular culture, and a ‘bang’ entertainment room phenomenon for the collective enjoyment of leisure in dense urban sites.

As a result, the thesis challenges the usual notion of a balanced exchange between the ‘foreign’ and the ‘local’ within the processes of globalisation, thereby disputing the idea of an easy mutual influence between different cultures. Instead, my study aims to build a critical method which can respond to complex issues of the transfer of cultural aspects, in regard not only to socio-political conditions but also to those of linguistic and cultural diversity. I also present through some outline design explorations a new framework through which to think about architectural and urban design in South Korea, and thus for understanding its appropriation within a broader, globalising cultural context.

A key argument in my research is that just as increasing levels of economic, business, cultural and communication exchanges are now being developed between the two parts of Korea, so too large-scale architectural projects are required to create continuous urban projects predicated on innovative ‘themed’ socio-economic environments. This PhD study hence proposes a new mode of architectural and urban production that carries significance both as an experimental approach in general, and also one that can serve to guide future developments following the (hopeful) future reunification between North and South Korea.

Year2013
File
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
Published2013
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/8z035

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