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© 2020 by Daniel Fernando Avilan Medina

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Sewoon Archipelago is a series of eight tectonic artifacts that use the existing kilometer long shopping center as its framework. In the core of the city’s industrial heart, the island invites the isolated local community to integrate once again with Seoul's Sewoon Sangga Shopping Complex. The local community has seen its manufacturing complex vanish to make way for high rise commercial development and with a lack of hope and promise for the future of their city. Plans of demolition only reiterate the countries skepticism in the function of its democratic state that votes to evict communities in order to generate wealth and economic certainty. The archipelago thus uses the pork food industry, a long standing identifier of South Korean tradition and national pride, as way of revitalizing the derelict structure. Pigs have an interesting place in South Korean culture: where locals believe that placing pig heads outside of their shops will bring them good fortune, or that consuming pork will detox their body from the pollutants in the air. South Korea infamously proposed sending pigs and creating pig farms in North Korea in order to ease tensions and denuclearize the peninsula. Furthermore, this year is the Year of the Golden Pig, bringing about economic prosperity and good luck to the people of South Korea.

The archipelago creates a spectacle of the pig farm by celebrating the consumption of food as a driving force for modern identity. This island rejects the pseudo-globalist society in which South Korea currently depends largely on countries like the United States and Europe for the import of their pork industry. It denounces the idea that South Koreans can’t be self-sufficient and sustainable without having to destroy every object of its past in order to make way for the future. Furthermore, it juxtaposes the dominant narrative of demolition as revitalization tactics of the global capitalist economic agenda.

It proposes a series of eight interdependent programmatic islands that work together as a thriving system of prosperity and harmonizes with the food culture and civic benefit of the masses. Each of the islands has the right to continuously expand and reach out to the local context of the industrial complex, making the site around a welcome territory of its large scale construction. Managing a different context and locality, each of the eight farms responds rapidly to the growing changes of the cities as well as reinvent itself in order to coincide with the city whilst self-generating a metropolis of its own. Each archipelago could not exist without its neighbor, just as Seoul would cease to exist without its local industrial complex, creating a bottom up economy. Therefore, the archipelago reflects on the identity of the urban condition that plagued South Korea from unwarranted transitions, which neglected civic society in order to create economic prosperity.

Once the kilometer long Archipelago stimulates itself as the new urban core. It becomes apparent that the site is an incubator for the city, creating civic life by feeding the metropolis in turn for reviving the Sewoon Sangga area and the core of its industrial complex.