Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies (at Korea U.): “Unprecedented Pyongyang”

Dongwoo Yim, Hongik Asst Prof
Thursday, March 22, 2018 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Grand Conference Room (Room number 310), of the Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University



Despite the notorious fact of it being one of the most veiled countries in modern history, North Korea recently has started to get engaged with the rest of the world, and now we can easily witness various socio-economic changes of the nation which was seen in the 1990s in other post-socialist countries. And as the capital of the nation, Pyongyang has already entered into fast transformation stage with numbers of developments both in public and private sectors since the new regime of Kim Jung Un. 

However, we sometimes overlook the fact that the city was built based on the goal to be an ideal socialist city. After the three years of Korean War in the 1950s, Pyongyang was completely demolished and had a unique chance to build a new city based on the socialist ideology. Although the current morphology may not be exactly same as the original master plan, many urban spaces and infrastructures remain as evidences of socialist urban planning. And interestingly enough, these are urban elements that have major conflict with the idea of market-oriented economy, and at the moment, the morphology of the city is already changing. Then, the question is, will Pyongyang become one of post-socialist cities, having them as precedents to the city, or will it have its own development path that is unprecedented?

Dongwoo Yim is the co-founder of  PRAUD and an assistant professor at Hongik University Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design. He received his masters degree at Harvard University and bachelor’s degree at Seoul National University, and currently is a PhD candidate from RMIT. He is the winner of Architectural League Prize 2013, and the author of "Pyongyang, and Pyongyang After,” and the co-author of  “(Un) Precedented Pyongyang,” “North Korean Atlas” and "I Want to be METROPOLITAN” among others. His works have been exhibited worldwide including the award winning Korean Pavilion in Venice Biennale 2014, Museum of Modern Art in New York, DNA Galerie in Berlin. Dongwoo was an adjunct professor at Rhode Island School of Design from 2011 through 2017, and visiting assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016.

From Korea University station (line 6), take exit 1, go to the right, up the sloping walkway to the campus. Walk past the building with the Ilmin Museum (the first building you'll see almost in front of you, a little to the left), and continue walking straight up the hill until you reach the Asiatic Research Institute on the right. We will go somewhere for supper at the end of the colloquium. After 6 pm the front door of the Institute will be locked, so please try to arrive a little earlier. If the door is locked, please wait for somone to come out so that they can let you into the building.





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