Graduate Architecture

Studio Collaboration with Seoul National University

Under the direction of Associate Professor Simon Kim, PennDesign participates in an ongoing collaboration with Seoul National University (SNU). These intiatives are supported by Heerim Architects and Planners, a global leader in architecture and construction. Offering services and specializations within architecture, master planning, and construction management, Heerim is led by alumnus (MArch’89) Young Kyoon Jeong, CEO and Chair of the Board. Mr. Jeong, who has an undergraduate degree in architecture and an MArch from SNU, as well as an MArch from PennDesign, has generously sponsored the joint studio of both institutions.

Invited as one of the international studio participants for the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in 2017, Simon Kim's 701 studio was assigned a complex site along the Cheonggyecheon Waterway from the Seunsangga megastructure to the US Military base at Dongdaemun. Kim and his students were asked to analyze the project in terms of ecology and sustainability, as well as expand upon its function of urban renewal. Their resulting designs were on view as part of the Seoul Biennale International Studios (SBIS), a research-based exhibition curated by John Hong, professor at SNU.

“The faculty and students engage the Biennale theme of Urban Making: Instead of generic factories based on mass production segregated to the city outskirts, urban production is seen as a new scalable way to aggregate many diverse disciplines,” Hong explains. “A swarm of micro-businesses, from garment making, electronics and sensing, and digital fabrication, potentially come together to leap-frog over current making techniques to create new products and experiences.”

Kim’s students produced a site analysis, master plan, site plans, sections, and various models. In the process, according to Kim, they strengthened their critical thinking skills and came to understand the layered histories of Cheonggyecheon as well as the expansion of monument- and place making in Seoul that is focused on culture and leisure.

Cheonggyecheon was the subject of Kim’s Fall 2016 third-year graduate elective studio Seoul: The Sensate and the Augmented. Students in the studio included Michelle Ann Chew, Wooyoung Choi, John Dade Darby, Ricardo Hernandez, Chang Yuan Max Hsu, Jieming Jin, Dawoon Jung, Ritika Kapoor, Han Kwon, Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, and Mingjie Zhu. Kim’s teaching Assistants were Brett Lee and Aidan Kim.

SBIS is meant to be a “bridge” between the academic, professional, and governmental stakeholders of the Biennale—encouraging visitors from around the world to make connections between the imperatives in Seoul and issues facing other cities. PennDesign was one of 10 American universities invited to participate, along with 17 institutions from across Europe and Asia.