Life #02

Surplus Space


One plans a space, and inserts a required program in it, or makes up a space by laying one program upon another. Combining and analyzing various things, one finds out the most reasonable design, reviewing and revising it repetitively. In order to prevent unnecessary space that would be discarded in vain, one should ruminate upon the significance and value of each space and elevate its economic and rational values. The value of space depends on how to reflect and articulate functions in their entirety. However, a space becomes the most valuable when it relates to meaningless and unnecessary surrounding spaces. A space contains unpredictable future time and infinite possibilities. Now, space extends and goes beyond the earlier definition, coming to have higher values and new possibilities. Before one knows, the surplus space transforms into the center and hero of spatial values, not simply a blank or a seasoning to elevate the values. The space which looked like a phantom whose name and values were not given from the beginning?the space itself might be the root of inherent energy and the foundation for full architectural possibilities.




Restlessly walking and ceaselessly looking around, you take the valuable experience of this moment to your heart, being anxious to experience and feel any more. You keep walking. Your feet aching too much, your body completely exhausted, you cannot walk anymore. Only then you lean on a tree, drying the sweat off and catching your breath. Probably not the best place you've heard of and had in mind earlier, but an ordinary place reached with your exhausted body. . . . This is an unscheduled digression and unpredicted visit. Now you can see the surrounding landscape—which you have walked through and accustomed yourself to—from a new perspective all of a sudden. You now feel so much closer to the distant landscape, with a different sense of hands-on experience. The device that fills up and connects between the heavy schedules is not another schedule or attempt, but a blank and emptiness, the interstice through which the travel becomes more valuable and entails broader experience.




Many people are enthusiastic about the Korean television drama, Misaeng—which means an "Incomplete Life." This drama reflects our life frankly and realistically. It shows no vicarious satisfaction through the Cinderella complex and a sweet love story, nor a soap opera of an dumbfounding plot that always transcends the audience's imagination. Instead, this drama cool-headly reveals the reality, pathos, and detailed relationship of us who are living in the hard time. The various episodes revolving around a beginner in society and the department where he works reveal the tension of society and the uncomfortable sense of alienation in reality as they are. Between the scenes, meanwhile, well-nuanced performances of supporting actors are interspersed to resolve the miserable senses of pressure and tension with a little humor and relaxation. The seemingly uncomfortable and neglected stories which, however, have been commonplace in our daily practice rather become the elements of drawing interest and popularity, and the deep sense of reality reflected in them becomes slackened and more rich through the combination of unique supporting actors with small stories.




Now is the time to discuss our story. It's about architecture and design. It's a serious consideration and an immediate reality before us; a problem to solve and a task to perform right now. Setting a substantive plan by splitting time, we exclude nonsense works, time-wasting discussion, and useless and empty complaints. Yet, we intend to stand for a moment, looking up to the sky, taking a long and deep breath, and slowly looking around or far away. Excluding where it began, where it has reached and is heading now, or even another certain meaning, we put down our body and soul for a moment in the flow of time. We hope it will be not a time deserted or to be deserted, but a valuable time to recover the enthusiasm of yesterdays, which otherwise will fall down and be deserted, and heal the troubles and conflicts of today.

We are still thinking about architecture and space, but also floundering through the increasing burdens of efficient and valuable time, leaving behind the reminiscence of digression and relaxation. Still yet, we are dreaming of and thinking about good design and sound space. We are gathering for a moment today to share the small stories and troubles of tasks which are to be carried out by some Junglim staffers and several others, the longing for the old days by having a drink, and the hopes and values we should keep finding and pursuing at any rate. Still busy are we now, but in the meantime, we are talking for a moment dreaming of the values in between the times.

Reconstructed excerpts from Ho Lee, "Architecture, People, and Junglim Catch Their Breaths,“ Junglim Architecture Works 2015

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