Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies (at Korea U.) Spatial Futures:  Pyongyang 2050

Annie Pedret Ph.D.
Thursday, May 10, 2018 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Grand Conference Room (Room number 310), of the Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University



The April 2018 session of the “Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies,” organized jointly by the Seoul Center of the ÉFEO and RAS Korea, was a great success with some 50 people present.  

What will Pyongyang look like in 2050 in a unified Korea? In this paper I will show a wide range of proposals – from the ironic and ludic to the dystopic – of urban futures of Pyongyang in 2050 in a unified Korea and the method used to generate these projects. The inter-disciplinary method used in this studio to create alternative plausible urban futures of Pyongyang involved bringing together scenario planning from future studies, the projective capacities of designers, and the imagination of historians to write fictive narratives based on fragments of evidence. The premise of this approach is that design proposals, are a type of spatial narrative. As such, spatial narratives, as argued by de Certeau, play a “decisive” role in “founding” space and creating a “theater for actions” that will occur in the future. This method demands that designers and historians think about key factors – such as political and economic systems that they work within – that they mostly take for granted, but which profoundly impact urban form. The value of these projects and this method lies in their role in preparing understanding what policies and directions they could choose to create more, or less, desirable political and economic outcomes for not only for the urban form of Pyongyang, but the form and processes and outcomes of unification itself.   

Annie Pedret is an associate professor in the Design Department at Seoul National University. She received her Ph.D. and S.M.Arch.S. degrees in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism from MIT, B.Arch. from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Team 10: an archival history (2013), and, with the students of her Spatial Strategies Lab @ SNU, the forthcoming book Spatial Futures: Pyongyang 2050 (2018). She has published in academic journals and lectured internationally about post-World War II modern architecture, and methods for projecting plausible scenarios for architectural futures and expanding the field of architectural history.  Before becoming an architectural historian Annie Pedret worked as an architect in Toronto and Vancouver working on projects in Barcelona, Jeddah, and The Gambia.  She has taught architectural history at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago.

We hope that many of you will come.

Elisabeth Chabanol
Key-young Son
Kathryn Weathersby
Boudewijn Walraven
Brother Anthony

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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Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

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