Speculators of
Heterotopia

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Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia
Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia
Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia
Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia
Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia

Speculators of Seoul have long exploited and distorted the concept of modernism to accumulate maximum earnings and profits.

Homogenization of space didn’t grant social equity but rather paved advantageous platforms for real estate gamblers, which led to the extinction of heterogeneous urban fabrics in favor of standardized, profitable concrete blocks.

 

Fake Ville Radieuses, covering nearly half of the housings in Seoul have dominated not only the economics of the real estate market but also meticulously curated the architectural taste of the general public. Tenant’s lifestyle, as well as the value of the complex, is determined by the colossal corporate logo on the facade and the celebrity who markets the brand. Attractive copies such as “Invest in Luxury - Samsung Apartment,” are considered more vital in choosing a habitat than traditional qualities of space; form, function, light, ventilation, etc. Speculators of distorted utopia have perfectly secured the means for apprehending the logic of the system, dominating Seoul’s urban mechanism and spatial ideologies.

Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia

Tenant’s lifestyle, as well as the value of the complex, is determined by the colossal corporate logo on the facade and the celebrity who markets the brand. Attractive copies such as “Invest in Luxury - Samsung Apartment,” are considered more vital in choosing a habitat than traditional qualities of space; form, function, light, ventilation, etc. Speculators of distorted utopia have perfectly secured the means for apprehending the logic of the system, dominating Seoul’s urban mechanism and spatial ideologies.

Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia

Lofty, yet solitary architects in Seoul have long abhorred these speculators and their masterplans, suggesting that Seoulians should escape from the totalizing devices and seek for alternatives.

 

Architects started to keep away from the idea of utopianism and leaned towards heterotopia. For architects, the informal, heterogeneous places (some received from tradition and others produced by observation) and non-hegemonic programs that it contained seemed like a great army that they can train for a combat against the massive concrete blocks. Some architect started to speak eloquently to the general public, asking them to join the journey of dismantling and hashing the fake utopias through the power of heterotopias. Few sensitive people responded, while others were still busy finding a way to win the space-gamble. Along with few supporters who were determined to escape from the scam of imaginary totalization, Architects proudly declared the noble crusade against the capitalist developers.

Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia
Sewon Roy Kim | Speculators of heterotopia

Speculators, however, viewed the protest of the architects and their supporters as an opportunity, rather than a threat. Just like how the 20th century capitalists made money out of utopian dreams, they now had a fresh new concept, heterotopia, to exploit. Learning from their prediceders who have deformed soviet communal housing project into a giant cash-cow, developers were confident in manipulatively making profit out of emerging ideals. 

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Sewon's work will soon be exhibited in Guggenheim Bilbao as part of the MOTION. AUTOS, ART, ARCHITECTURE
Exhibition