The Threshold as Social Surface: The Architecture of South Korean Urban Marketplaces
(University of Manchester)
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on Gibson’s approach to the surface, one is reminded of the conventional terms of architectural discourse. One of the key concepts in architecture is threshold, the mediating condition between two distinctive states, most often simply inside and outside, public and private. This is applied to a study of markets in South Korea, depicted through multiple inscriptive practices.
Paper long abstract:
Drawing on Gibson's approach to the surface, one is reminded of the conventional terms of architectural discourse. One of the key concepts in architecture is threshold, the mediating condition between two distinctive states, most often simply inside and outside, public and private. Often, such thresholds are socially practiced rather than actual constructions. This is most apparent in the marketplace, where crossings between producers, middlemen, buyers, and sellers occur in parallel to various knottings of social class and ethnicity. This paper is drawn from research describing markets such as Dongdaemon (Seoul), Jagalchi (Busan), and Seomun (Daegu) in South Korea. The methodology is a nascent form of Graphic Anthropology which references my background training in both architecture and anthropology. What can we learn about a place by depicting it graphically through drawings, notations, maps and diagrams? How does this complement the recording media of photography, film and sound recording; as well as the socially embedded practices of anthropology? The aim of the research is both to establish a methodology, and to produce a working record of a place through multiple overlapping inscriptive practices. This record is intended to form the basis of understanding a site in order to inform design processes with social and spatial practices in mind rather than the conventional modes of architectural production. Key to this is a reconfiguration of the language of architecture, accounting for Gibson's surfaces and mediums intertwined with the potential offered planes and spaces.
Surfaces: contesting boundaries between materials, mind and body