M. ARCH I
demilitarized zone, North Korea, South Korea, borders, The River of Death, embassy, exchange nationality
Architecture can do many things and solve many problems of the local condition. For example, skyscrapers meet high demands of housing and offices; sustainable green buildings are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. When it comes to bigger topics like dealing with social and cultural conflicts which influenced by national and political decisions, the usual architecture types may not resolve or help as much as expected. So, for dealing with these topics, we find that architecture has limitations. However, when we look through other fields like art, we can find an opportunities to address them. For example, Ben Shahn was American artist, He is best known for his works of social realism. His works are often critical of American life, but by exposing social problems. One of his works, “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti” (1967, mosaics) is established on the wall of H.B Crouse Hall in Syracuse University. His works were generated based on the real story that Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were framed by murdering in Massachusetts and executed in 1927. But even there was no enough evidences and government still insisted to arrest them because they were anarchist and Italian immigrants and placed them on the federal government’s watch list of dangerous subversives. This sensational case captured the attention of people around the world, many of them protested against the convictions. The author translated the whole processes of arrest, trial and execution into ironic and sarcastic way to express on the paintings. He encourages people to understand the reality of the condition. Though architecture cannot solve large social and national conflicts, but it can review and expose the realities to public using symbolic forms and use theoretical approaches to draw people’s attention for realizing the significant of some conflicts and realities. We choose the DMZ as out site because it is one of the most dangerous and high-militarised borders between two neighboring counties, North Korea and South Korea. They had been one county around 100 years ago, while they have many conflicts and differences now. There are many stories and secret beyond the DMZ and the two Koreas. We would like to use architecture as a media to make people realize and understand what kinds of conflicts they have by exposing them theoretically through architecture. Bridge is the name of our thesis. Our “Bridge” does not focus on deconstruction or emphasizing the DMZ, rather it frames the conflicts between the DMZ and two Koreas. There are three bridges for addressing three realities; first is lack of freedom to cross border between the North Korea and South Korea, second is that different social structure systems control and affect the two Koreas differently and last one is a large group of divided families will pass away without seeing their relatives once.
Li, Lan and Li, Yifei, "Bridge: Fantasy of the demilitarized zone" (2018). Architecture Senior Theses. 428.
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