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Architecture / Landscape / Urban Design
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Inside Out: 7 Architectural Thoughts

The cultural discourse has begun.
Seven progressive Korean architectural designers are bringing up a challenging topic about ‘Koreaness’ to the Korean American community.
It is obvious that we are confronting the matter that our cultural usages are incongruent at times in multi-cultural communities of the United Sates. For this reason, personally or communally driven, we are trying to make the cultural usages more suitable for current circumstances and create an indigenous cultural entity that is in harmony with diverse ethnic and cultural circumstances. Naturally, such an effort has been performed not only by the Korean American community but also other ethnic groups. Due to the unconscious inclination towards raising an economic or political status in the mainstream of American society, the Korean American community might have disregarded its cultural identity which should be defined by our traditional thoughts and cultural values. We, the Korean American community, obviously adapt our cultural mannerisms and customs in our own everyday lives. Nevertheless, we may not know whether or not such accustomed cultural behaviors, which are already formed as a daily life habit, have a future-oriented value and how worthy it is for the Korean American community in order to create its own cultural identity.



‘Phronēsis’ of an architectural culture begins now.
It is time to reexamine our traditional thoughts and values beyond the economic and politic foundation we have achieved. Through this exhibition, we, seven architectural designers, are trying to shift our values with hope of converting the stereotype that architecture is not being regarded as an industry but as a part of culture. We assert that such a shift will not result in a zero-sum game against other values we have looked forward to. Rather, we are looking for synergy that will be a positive influence on the community we belong to. It is not our intent to present a perfect solution on how to anchor our traditional thoughts and values into the Korean American community and merge them into the current layers of diverse ethnic and cultural circumstances. Rather, it may be an architectural response to the Korean American community’s cultural awakening. With certainty, we are eager for a new indigenous cultural identity which will carry on our traditional values and cultural self-esteem to the Korean American community. We desire that our little efforts can expand to a ‘Phronēsis’ of contemporary culture not just for Korean American Community but to any ethic communities which long for their own unique cultural identity.
Text. Kyoung Soon Kim