Dream Cells
Jinhong Jeon, Yunhee Choi (BARE—Bureau of Architecture, Research & Environment)

The “Forum for the Prosperity of Tomorrow” was the motto for the 1st Korea Trade Fair. Although the fair lasted only for 42 days, it was deemed a successful event which attracted more than 1.7 million visitors. It was a paradoxical opportunity that the state and avant-garde architects were able to ‘dream’ of building a better “image” of the future—a rosy, bright Korea—and leaving a legacy at the cost of sacrifices and suffering for the working class. Many of the Guro factory workers were local transmigrants (mostly young girls) from rural areas who had to work for a duration of 12 hours and live in beehive-shaped collective housing units where 6-7 people share one room.

Thousands of manufacturing factories in the Guro Industrial Complex of 1967 were completely wiped out and high-rise office towers were newly built to create a new hub for the largest Digital Complex since 2000. Most of the beehive collective housing units remained in the same atrocious conditions, now inhabited by a mix of existing residents and newcomers in search of their ‘Korean Dream.’ Guro has been the place of life for those in the shadow whose labor and sacrifice were necessary to fulfill the ‘dreams’ of those in power, but once the dreams are fulfilled, whose presence is made invisible and continue to be excluded from society.

In the belief that society still advances through the development of technology, we propose a visionary architecture and city with a ‘critical attitude’ to technologies that are operative. Based on the understanding that architecture can be seen as one socio-economic production process, a new urban model is proposed based on fragments of earlier visions to collect fragments from earlier utopian plans to reconstruct moments, building up towards a new ‘dream.’ We follow the reconstruction of fragments broken away from the idea of totality embodied in the avant-garde architects. At this moment in time, the social power is now transferred to the citizens. Just as the image of ‘a rosy future’ was presented at the Korea Trade Fair, a new image of ‘a sweet future’ will be presented at the Korean Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. World citizens are invited to ‘dream’ once again.

Jinhong Jeon, Yunhee Choi (BARE), Dream Cells, 2018


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