The project speculates the new typology of an urban city which is constructed based on the severe commercialization under Capitalism. FlatCity visualizes the shape of the city which is exaggeratedly accelerated the replacement of commercial places.
The idea was started from the thesis. The text is especially focusing on the city of Seoul where has been developed in high speed for efficiency and profit, it reveals how the city mechanism (regarding market economy) has deformed the condition of urban state and how the humans lost their agency of it.
In the city like Seoul, most commercial places are existed and replaced not for human necessity but for mechanism operation (highly related to the value of the real estate and market logic), which doesn’t allow the place to be absorbed to humans. This brings a sense of disconnection from the place to humans while the constant replacement is ongoing. Meanwhile, as this discontinuity by the transition continues, continuous discontinuity becomes the new condition of the city.
In order to represent this state, I chose a billboard as a crucial element in the city, at the same time a metaphor. The billboard on the architecture reveals the content inside, also reflects the market logic from outside to survive, so the surface of the billboard is the symbolisation of compressing and flattening of interiority and exteriority.
A scale of the store is constructed from the scale of the billboard. I extruded from the frame of the surface to the volume, to represent that the interior is designed only to rely on the commercial value.
In this sense, I discover a new evaluation of architecture as a skeleton separate inside and outside. The traditional role of architecture is dissolved. The architecture in FlatCity is just a penetrable container to expose the interior.
Moreover, the surface of the billboard might reverse interiority and exteriority. In the conventional sense, the interior is containing the consumable content, and the exterior is formed by the urban infrastructure of the system. However, as the surface has flattened those, there are an infrastructural mechanism that is running inside, and tangible outcome(product) that is exhibited and consumed outside.
This process of dematerialisation of urban elements proposes the speculative urban landscape we are facing in the near future and the unexpected spatial quality of it. Furthermore, it emphasises conscious awareness and response of the human about the new way of mechanism and its form which has started to mutate already.
VOICE OVER SCRIPT
Seen from the human perspective, the landscape of the surface of the architecture is static. The scenery we are looking at is the figure of the moment. But this paused image is deceived. The stores in this city are not perceived from the human eye, but constantly replaced under the system of the market economy.
Let’s speed up the velocity.
The Capitalistic mechanism that manipulates and replaces stores brings gradual and aggressive change to the landscape of the city. In this landscape, the architecture is only a skeleton that separates the interior and exterior. There are only billboards that are plastered on the surface of the architecture.
In this street, the billboard is the interiority itself. The replacement of the store is only to be recognized by the replacement of the billboard. The manualized interior of the franchise store, the standardized finishing material by industrialization, unified global trend.. The interiority of this commercialized street with the dense billboards is paradoxically the void of identity.
There is a continuous transition that is constant and endless. This transition creates discontinuity. But due to its high speed and perpetuity, discontinuity created by replacement becomes the default value. Therefore, in this city, discontinuity is continuous.
Humans in this city function only as an executor of the system. Indifferent and continuous replacement has absorbed the human to the city that evolves itself. The humans have slowly been encroached by the city and lost their authority of controlling and shaping the city.
The surfaces are only what’s left there. The surfaces compress and flatten the interior, exterior and the system of Capitalism, and fill out the landscape of the city. In this city, the division of the interiority and exteriority is blended and even reversed. Meta-billboard invites the infrastructural system to the inside of the façade and dissolves the tactile content to the outside. It dematerializes the architecture and as such, becomes the mechanism itself.
Then, we have to ask ourselves, is this a new type of city? or, can we call this, the city?