Visiting School

Public River Interfaces
International Complex House

30 July–7 August 2010

Following on from last year’s AA /SA KIA collaborative workshop, Awakening the River, the two schools joined forces again in summer 2010 for the third AA Korean visiting school. The programme was divided into six units, each one focused on a specific site along the Youngsan-gang river, situated in the
southern part of the country and recently selected by the Korean Government as a site for possible redevelopment.

The focus of the workshop was centred on the notion of reconnecting design and science, two concepts which
seem to have drifted apart during Korea’s recent history. We looked specifically at how new public interfaces can offer an escape from the ‘nonstop city’ urban colonisation currently eroding Korea’s natural assets. Departing from the idealised conception of the river as an idyllic backdrop to the city, we returned to a more medieval notion of a river as the main source of commerce, where farming, industry and recreation overlap.

This workshop offered a unique opportunity to learn/discuss/theorise about a new form of urban settlement currently taking shape in Korea, a land which has witnessed unprecedented economic and demographic change in the last 40 years and now has to address its future.

Peter Ferretto is an architect practising in Korea. He taught at the AA between 2007–09 and is currently a Professor at Seoul National University.