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Can Architecture be Neutral in a Conflict Zone?

Part 2 Project 2015
Jong min Park
Royal College of Art | UK
Korea is one of the last countries, divided along Cold War lines. Since the Korean War ended in 1953, South and North Korea have engaged in extensive military exercises not only on the ground, but also on the sea. Every time this exercise takes place, over 1,000 missiles are fired into the West Sea, causing numerous damages. Of particular concern are the local people, who work in the fishing and pottery industries, as well as the marine life, whose life have been threatened due to the destruction of the ecological system.

My work starts with the question of what role architecture can play in the West Sea. In this conflict zone, I plan to create artificial islands, made of ceramic pots. These islands will function as a joint fishing community, shared by South and North Korean fishermen. These delicate islands can be easily damaged by military exercises, but because of their eco-friendly materials, once destroyed, they would serve as an artificial reef.

Embodying the vulnerability of the region, my work questions the violence caused by the Korean governments’ military actions, and has broader implications to other conflict areas, where violence is often dealt with another form of violence.

Jong min Park


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