As East Asian cities continue to modernize and densify, monotonous and dehumanizing blocks tend to replace the finely-grained, small-scale architecture and urbanism such as Beijing’s Hutong, Tokyo’s small wooden houses, and Singapore’s traditional villages. These “urban ecologies that have evolved over the course of centuries,” as Dutch firm MVRDV explains, foster a social interconnectivity in these communities, forming the basis for a new exhibition currently on view in Seoul, South Korea.
MVRDV presents their research on rapid urban transformation in East Asia in Welcome to the Vertical Village at Seoul’s Total Museum of Contemporary Art presented through rich audio-visual displays and vibrantly-colored installations of an imagined Vertical Village of more than 700 individual pieces, a solution in opposition to monolithic development while embracing the density it provides. The exhibition describes an alternative model of development that embraces the qualities of dense three-dimensional communities while preserving the diversity, flexibility, and personal freedom present in traditional East Asian villages. The exhibition runs through October 7, 2012.