Junglim Culture Marked by a Comma
Balance between Work and Rest
Architects enjoy expedition in the world of creation as artists do, and Junglim members also instinctively pursue the desire for the new. So we often attempt to experiment with finding another value of architecture in the world of creation beyond business. Indeed, if there is no such soft and friendly values as slowness, fantasy, relaxation, romance, fun, experiment, recharge, dream, and rest in the process of our project, how barren will the vessel of our life be? Tight design schedules and building-driven works will be likely to undermine the raison d'etre and values of architects, ultimately depriving them of the chance of long service in the industry. Only when such elements as efficiency, performance, and profitability and the values mentioned above find a balance, our works come to have significance and larger synergy. Working, exhausted, resting, recharging, and reworking. . . . In this way, work and rest should naturally and always be in a virtuous cycle so as to maintain their soundness. Only then, one can continue creative activities. Therefore, the creative energies of architects are seen to become much more amplified when they are relaxed, genuinely resting, and recharging themselves.
The Creative Life of an Architect
Prolific architects seemed to have endeavored to freshen up their lives by working and resting, dreaming of themselves whose today is more lively than yesterday and who will change tomorrow more than today. For architects, work and rest are not easy to distinguish with each other. Their immersion in work itself may be a play as well as a rest in many cases. However, I am here to suggest several ways for basic lifestyles that I think helps keep a balanced life: First, to live by holding a world of childhood innocence full of imagination and curiosity. That is to say, to have an attitude to distance oneself from a sense of authority or a stereotype, like a child's worldview with cloud-castles and fancies. The pleasant talks by many peer architects of mine, which sound a little childish though, are one of those attitudes to escape from the fixed set of values. Second, to make ceaseless efforts to have affection for and detailed interest in surrounding objects. This attitude is such an effective way to improve warm personality and observation. Take an interest in expressing and recording the senses. If you have kept taking notes on your mobile phone, then you will be able to elicit what you felt before as it was and use it for your work. Third, to have an interest in reading books and watching artworks. The humanities which are holding the limelight in these days are like quality manure that helps harvest fruitful outcomes of architectural design. Around the office are the former Space Group of Korea building which has turned to Arario Museum in Space, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, and the many galleries and cultural performance halls in Daehangno, so that you can walk to them anytime. In so doing, experience an effect that enriches your life and expands the scope of your thinking. It is not easy to lead the life of an architect in the way of keeping the raw, fresh and glutinous sense like that of sushi, but I believe that we can design creative and good architecture by keeping that freshness through the balance between work and rest.
Composed Culture Proper to Junglim
Junglim has cultivated its proud architectural culture for 50 years since its foundation: the architectural and urban contributions through works; the social contribution based on the public good; and the unique culture of composure inside Junglim.
Particularly, we are practicing these values of commons with social service and talent donation. A case of coexistence and sharing settled as a sound in-house culture in which the whole staff participate includes the Habitat for Humanity movement. Also, the activities of Junglim Foundation are playing a great role by widening the horizon of architectural culture for various classes with social service based on architecture, exchange between architecture and art/culture, public relations of architecture, and so on. Another model case of on-going coexistence movement includes the One Company One Village relationship, which provides the Junglim family with the chances of pollution-free agricultural experience and offers the rural village the vitality of living, thus developing into a substantive rural service movement. Junglim Architecture has a variety of programs based on rest, composure, and recharging to encourage the creativity of architects. Amongst them, the traditional architecture field-trip has settled as a mature tour culture as unrivalled for the past 31 years. Also, the almost 20 in-house clubs are operated autonomously and part of them include academic research clubs registered voluntarily to be helpful for self-development, as well as sports or hobby clubs. In addition to the balance between work and rest, we aim at two more purposes: the communication and solidarity of Junglim members. Reflecting the importance of rest in life, we designate every Wednesday as the familial love day and so prevent some overworking to be habituated, while the overseas field-trip program "Junglim Over Flowers" also enjoys great popularity. Moreover, such design culture as to directly help design reviews, seminars, or work exhibitions is systematically ready for the scale of the firm.
I believe the reason why Junglim has grown as a leader of Korean architecture is not only that we have designed works at high levels, but also that the predecessors who endeavored to take the mission as the Junglim staff with talent donation and the younger inheritors who are still following the predecessors' spirit. The senses of composure, gentility, and coexistence spirit proper to Junglim culture are also the philosophies which should be inherited steadily for years to come.
Together at a Happy Workplace
The last several years witnessed particularly many accident disasters including the Sewol Ferry disaster and even severe casualties by safety ignorance. This is probably due to the fact that the safety consciousness and accident prevention to care for in advance were pushed back on the priority list while even all the media, mass communications, and corporations have rapidly run by competitive nature. Junglim has grown with the pride that we are the leader of present-day Korean architecture. Given about the lives of 600 employees and their family members whose number is several times the former depend on our company at a time when the economic recession of architectural design market becomes aggravated year by year since the 2008 financial crisis, the company's survival is definitely the desperate challenge. However, resolving bread-and-butter issues is not the only reason why we share pleasures and pains. Our long-term goal is to dream of more sound spatial environment through architecture, take care of the world of coexistence, growing a proud organization that cares for the weak and contributes to society, create an happy workplace for the staff, and make an admirable company in the architectural industry.
Today as always, our business begins with looking at the schedule and purpose planned elaborately. It is never easy to discuss rest and composure in an urgent situation and reality in which we should take care of the imminent deadline of design delivery or competition. Although this daily life repeats itself day by day, we would be able to walk all the way long tirelessly if we could be sure that we are growing and able to find composure and gentility through the way.
At a corner on a vacant lot of an apartment building,
A waste tire without speed
Is buried half into the ground in the deep silence,
Lying in a circle that locks up the sunlight in a ring.
Is the circle remembering now
How much its lifetime has been pressed by speed?
It might once have desired to bounce out.
After all the set speeds pulled out,
The speed was only a dazzling limit like a handful of sand.
How dizzy was it, the years clinging to
The speedy cycle, to get out of it.
- Excerpts from Jonghyeon Kim, "A Waste Tire"
Reconstructed excerpts from Jinwoo Lim, “Junglim Culture Marked by a Comma”, Junglim Architecture Works, 2015
- Life #07 Put Yourself in Users’ Shoes and Design Space Where They Would Not Feel Discomfort
- Life #06 Get Down to Specifics, Not Only of Building Forms But Also of Materiality
- Life #05 Daegu Bank Suggests the Completed Form of Bank Architecture
- Life #04 Korea Exchange Bank Headquarters Suggests a New Type of Bank Architecture
The Ground for Junglim's Half-centennial Growth:
Korea Exchange Bank Headquarters and Daegu Bank Headquarters