Kim Sookjung (co-principal, Ground Scale)
Kim Jeongim (principal, Seoro Architects)
Rieh, Sun-Young (professor, University of Seoul)
Lim Mijung (co-principal, stpmj Architecture)
Cho Jaewon (principal, 0_1 Studio)
Han Kiyoung (vice president, Gansam Architects & Partners)
The Awakening of the Female Architect
SPACE: This conversation took place between female architects in academia and practice to explore the ways that gender issues have come into contact with architectural issues. For a long time, there was an atmosphere that made people reluctant to use the title of woman architect or to publicly discuss gender issues in the architecture world. Nowadays, I feel a change in the atmosphere. Consensus has gathered around the opinion that society will not change unless women reveal their femininity and raise their voices to correct differences and discrimination.
Kim Jeongim (KJI): The answer to the question, ‘Why have debates concerning women and gender in the architecture world taken so long to go public?' may be that we were not sufficiently self-conscious or afraid of disadvantages. When the Me Too movement emerged, there was no obvious response from the architectural world. At that time, I wondered, ‘are there is no specific cases or are there other reasons?' It may be that there is less discrimination against women in the architectural world, or conversely, that the problem doesn’t surface as those who expose the issues are likely to be excluded from the practice.
Rieh Sun-Young (RSY): Women architects may have acclimatised themselves to an extremely masculine culture. They may have not identified themselves as a woman or if have, they may have expected that ‘this too shall pass’.
KJI: In my late thirties, I happened to look back over the way I worked while preparing an exhibition with some architects. I seemed to have been conscious of myself as a woman, always working with the male director and understanding myself as a relative concept. I had the idea that I could survive only by working like men and by keeping up with them. When I was a student, less than 10% of architecture students were women. I felt I would be excluded from the wider culture if I didn't interact closely with male students in the studio, which made me erase the more feminine aspects of my identity. At the same time, I began to wonder, 'Can I observe my femininity and express it through a work or in other fields?' During the preparation for the exhibition, I found that the role that language plays is extremely crucial. I started to doubt whether architecture could only be expressed in a language understood only by men. I wondered whether there were any architectural terms that could explain what I think and wanted to express. In the architectural world, even female critics are rare. I think critics play a significant role as they not only develop languages to explain one’s architecture but also have authority.
Lim Mijung (LMJ): Born in the '80s, I belong to a generation that grew up in an atmosphere that stated ‘Women can do too. You can realise your own aims, so don't worry and study'/ When I was in school, a few fellow strdents asked me, 'Can woman do architecture?' When I was at Harvard Graduate School of Design, half of the students had black hair and half were female. I expected many of these women would find work after ten years when I was doing my practice. Looking back, many of those women weren't working but I felt that so much had changed at that time. Naturally, I lived unaware of my femininity. I didn't think I should reach the same levels as my male colleagues, and architecture was a discipline that asked me to overcome my own limitations. I worked in the United States and had never heard that I wouldn't be able to do something because I am a woman. Of course, some people were raising children there too, but I didn’t feel this should have enforced a distinction between male architects and female ones. However, after I came to Korea, I decided to rethink my role when I was faced with the issue of childcare. But I felt that there was a limit to what I could do as a woman when parenting emerged as an immediate challenge, but I did not think that the role women play in architecture is minor.
Kim Sookjung (KSJ): I was also born in the 80's, and male and female students were about on par in the architecture department of my school. We never felt that women had to become masculine, and we used to say that ‘women became masculine and men are feminine, so we are all neutral’. We have never thought about femininity or masculinity seriously since we shared a time at co-ed boarding school for five years. On the contrary, I found the word was beneath the very foundation of our society after graduating. I wondered why we are associated with gender when we enter into society, though the time that taught and challenged us as gender neutral. So I feel rather uncomfortable when I am classified as and named a female architect.
Cho Jaewon (CJW): Each generation may have very different experiences, but I didn't think this when I was in school. I heard that it was the third year since SPACE Group began to hire female members when I joined the company after graduation. I'm more sensitive to the intention than to actually be called a female architect. I am called so many names. Since I opened my own office in my early thirties, people treated me as a freelancer for a while, and they called me Assistant Manager Cho, Miss Cho, Professor Cho, and Teacher Cho, and so on. This is because the people I met for business seemed to find it difficult to define me according to their previous experience, as few female architects had opened small offices at that time. One name of the many is female architect, and the intention is significant when people chose to use that appellation. They may call me this with the good intention of encouraging me. However, nothing is better than paying attention to my work and bringing business to me in order to encourage me. There is no reason not to be positive about gender equality if I am recognised as a female architect for meaningful progress.
Han Kiyoung (HKY): Kim Jeongim said she adopted male attributes to survive in the men's world, and I think I did the same, even if I wasn’t aware of it at the time. In a large office, from time to time I feel uncomfortable when others acknowledge me as a woman. This is when they treat me as if I am their subordinate because I'm a woman, even though I'm their boss, or when I notice that my client feels uncomfortable if I give a presentation. They do so because they can't become intimate with me as I don't drink, play golf, or eat, but simply talk about the project, particularly I'm often the head of the project. It seems this can't be helped. Instead, I thought, 'Can I make myself understood with my words?'; 'Can I understand men's way of speaking?' You know the higher my rank, the more males I have to command. That was a burden to me. How embarrassing will it be if you have a female boss and she is difficult to communicate? Seeking a way of making them comfortable, I had to study men’s method of dialogue. So, I practiced how to distinguish emotions from facts calmly. Now I feel male clients and employees aren’t as uncomfortable.
RSY: I had to struggle alone when I was the only female student. While evaluators and teachers are largely male, I designed in highly masculine way out of desperation to survive. It wasn't because I wanted to, but because I had to erase gender to survive. After graduating and finding a job, it was burdensome to get too much attention as a woman, and it was also difficult to endure the gaze of others with an attitude of 'Let's see how well you can do'. That's why I thought I should be trained as a normal person. At that time, not many women went abroad to study, but I went to the University of California. Not surprisingly, half of the students were women. During the vacations, I worked at the I.M.PEI’s office, and half of them were women too. In a way, it was a much more welcome environment in a liberal sense, even though I belonged to a double minority (female and Asian). At the time, a regulation that 10% of public projects should be allocated to women's companies was enforced in the United States, which in some cases made it easier for women to win contracts. This was not a privilege, however, as those who weren’t eligible would be filtered out anyway, simply to fix the uneven playing field. When 17 years ago SPACE planned 'Cyber Talk: Women, will they stand at the centre of architectural culture in the future?', the emphasis was on the ‘women’. Based on personal experience, it insisted upon the necessity of a quota system for women, but there was a feeling of rejection even among women in the architecture industry. I was appointed as a professor through this same quota system for women. The appointment was made as a member of Seoul Metropolitan Council following a question concerning a low proportion of female professors in University of Seoul, which was in the single figures. Surprisingly enough, however, professors who were hired later threw out a lot of questions; 'Why is Professor Rieh sensitive to gender issues?' In fact, the concept and the system, like a women-friendly city, was proposed by female professionals in our field who sympathised with it and spontaneously spared their free time on weekends. The Kim Daejung government tried to increase the proportion of women, but it was on alert at that time as the proportion of women could not be filled by 30%. Therefore, calls for finding women across wider society were growing louder, which led to those steadily practicing female architects to emerge and as such we began to look back over our daily lives. Rather than talking about monumental forms and spaces, people seemed to review the value of femininity from a point of caring about the environment and introducing controls to ease everyday life. Now our society seems to have understood the necessity to listen to the voices of the socially disadvantaged, including women and the disabled. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches may have brought this phenomenon together. This year, a graduate seminar called 'Gender and Architecture' was held for the first time. A lot of male students who participated in this seminar seemed to show recognition for gender issues, understanding that it is important to an all-embracing society. There has been much social consensus on creating all-embracing spaces for the socially disadvantaged. It will be fine to use the term female architect from the point of view that we are interested in the spaces experienced by those who are more exposed to childcare, whether we are married or have children. Our world seems to have changed a lot because the word 'women' is used in a positive meaning rather than unique. I am glad that women are now considered as people who can realise universality.
Changing Perceptions of Labour and Production
SPACE: In the past, architecture was thought to be a difficult area for women to enter and within which to grow due to conservatism surrounding access to apprenticeships and heavy labour, but recently it has been observed that men in their twenties are having trouble entering the architectural world. As the social perception of labour in our 20s and 30s has changed, it has become difficult to divide the issue between women and men.
KSJ: I worked at the BCHO Architects for about six years, and when I joined it as the youngest employee, the sex ratio of the employees was about equal. However, when I became a team leader, female applicants were more than male applicants when I reviewed the portfolios of new recruits. For some years, we couldn’t hire any more male employees. With portfolios of high quality decreasing year by year, I thought about why this was; in general, regardless of gender, it meant that the number of students who were willing to withstand the labour environment and poor pay experienced by new employees have gradually shrunk. Subordinate to this, cultured by the customs of older generations, I thought that male students were under greater pressure as they has to become the breadwinner when they graduated, which requires more courage to accept a small salary.
RSY: What about in a big organisation like Gansam?
HKY: We hired new employees lately, and the sex ratio of applicants was about six to four. It’s a good thing. If the ratio at the final interview stage was 5 to 5, it is right that the company should have concerns. Because, there are some forms of work in which men are more capable, for example, the lifting of heavy loads, and after three or five years, the number of female employees could decrease due to marriage or childcare, which requires me to continue to replace them with other new employees. The company has no choice but to hire people who will stay longer. We women are responsible for this.
KJI: Despite the fact that my company is small, I can divide female staffers into two cases. First, one gets married after she joins the company and goes abroad to study with her husband, or she takes time off or quits because of pregnancy and early stage childcare. Second, if not married, she remains working with me for a long time.
CJW: I recently had to recruit one new staff member and asked a professor to recommend a graduate. He said, ‘These days students are very concerned about the work life balance’, slurring at the end of his sentence. This opinion is subject to the premise that a small office cannot meet such a preferred work-life balance. That said, I also put emphasis on it! One employee who has worked with me for about two or three years also left the company because it took too much time to commute from his home in Incheon, preventing him from enjoying his personal time. In the past, if one quit within two to three years, one would be treated like a loser. That's probably because architecture requires a lot of guts and patience. In an interview last year, I asked a graduate why he chose my office. The answer was ‘I can commute by subway without a transfer’. This frank answer in the interview made me recognise the changing perception of labour.
RSY: While architects of the older generation thought, 'I should perfect a specialty and do something good for society', now more and more make a decision based on their career or work-life balance.
HKY: Such attitudes are a matter of a generation, not of gender. Those who were born before the end of 1970s, who are now over 40 years old, worked all night because they wanted to be good at architecture. They may want to take care of their juniors because they stand to gain something from the previous generation. Nowadays, however, employees ask not to have their their time taken away as they don't want to be exploited.
LMJ: A company dinner is very strange thing in the United States. Friday beers are also held during office hours. They never go out to eat together after working hours. Their culture respects the personal life and holds it in great esteem. I gave birth to two children in such an environment, and the company understood my situation and allowed me day care and pick-up. My boss even used to go out for a Halloween day event and later return to work. In this way, they share an atmosphere that is connected to and supportive of family life. I liked this social understanding that didn't blame me for the influence my family life had on my office work, but I found the situation is quite different when I came back to Korea. I need time to take care of my children, so I have to shift to a principal mode for work at night. But since I experienced American culture, I try not to make too many demands of my employees. I let them not to work too late and take the same amount of breaks to overwork during the weekend. The atmosphere here is not like that of the past which ask staffers to work all the time, and only rest on Chuseok and New Year's Day, as well as to return to work after attending a memorial service. Those who work productively deserve to enjoy plenty of rest.
RSY: Kim Sookjung 's Ground Scale is special in that the organisation is run by three women. What of the culture and sex ratio of the employees?
KSJ: We don’t think the fact that it is helmed by three women is special; I began the company with some like-minded friends. How dare three women think of opening an office, if we find it so unusual or troublesome? We haven't hired employees yet, but it doesn't make sense to distinguish between men and women and we'll hire employees based on their portfolios. We won't discriminate on gender because there was nothing we couldn’t achieve as women throughout the course of our careers. However, these days, it is difficult to hire staff on the assistant manager level, so we call them ‘golden assistant manager’. Usually, one becomes an assistant manager in the fourth year, but it's too hard for new employees to get there.
RSY: This is the period required for architecture qualifications.
KSJ: The process is harder than expected, that new employees must endure three years at an office. Most design firms can’t maintain 52 working hours per week, and a lot of people leave the architectural world. Still, those who want to continue working in architectural practices seem to try to live differently by opening an office or carrying out small projects. The question of whether it 'Is possible to be a good architect while living a little different life from the architect prescribed by the older generation?' has brought various paths and players. Since this generation has to take over the architect's path, I think more and more people have to talk about policy and social structure, like Rieh Sun-Young.
RSY: When a Chinese American woman was elected as the president of the American Institute of Architects, she had an official interview. She said her career was interrupted for more than seven years while she raised her children. She was able to return as she worked with her husband, but when she thought about the reason for her career break, she realised it would be impossible to catch up with the software unless she continued her practice. As soon as she became president, she implemented a policy to use the software for free during maternity leave, and people paid their tributes of praise to her. If you don't make a precise and accurate diagnosis of career breaks, women will repeat the same results of scattering and disappearing. Instead of maintaining a work-life balance, it is necessary to grab the essence and reflect it in policy. This requires tremendous manpower.
LMJ: I'm just at that point. The first child is in the first grade in elementary school. This is often thought of as the beginning of a career break. It was the hardest March of my life. It was painful to think that it became a matter of my child’s life. The process of building myself up so far by accomplishing something faded and the fact that what I decided to do would affect the future of my child became a burden to me. When I asked myself if I could raise my child against the prevailing social atmosphere, my answer was no. So, I am still trying to figure out how to achieve a balance. When I am burning with passion for accomplishing something, I often compare it to others, because I think I'm behind the tide on this issue. However, I recently sympathised with someone saying that if I focus now on my child, I can get back someday. I thought I’m not the only one who fights. Everything changes so fast and so intensely that I’m still anxious. This is not an issue that is confined to female architects. Unless you think of community issues of how to raise a child and try to solve it in many areas, career breaks will be repeated.
KSJ: As I guess other start-up offices are facing the same situations, winning a contract is extremely difficult. In the meantime, somehow, if you keep working steadily, you can build up trust in your office. But, if you suddenly get married or have a baby, you can’t be sure that you can come back to your position considering the current situation. If you opened your office recently, maintenance of the status quo is the first goal. If you focus on it, however, the rest of your personal life options are easy to miss unless you try harder.
CJW: In order to support the long-term survival of an office, I think I must keep adjusting my architectural goals to the wider working environment as our society changes. Of course, I should advocate core values. In Atelier it is difficult to predict things and the future doesn’t follow my will alone. Even when I have no commissions from clients, it's important to keep producing something meaningful. A light and flexible practice in architecture can be a measure that lasts for a long time. Instead of taking apart architecture, paying attention to the connected values of life seems to relate to my femininity.
RSY: My capability seems to build up through experience. It explains how Cho Jaewon can produce good results in architecture and why Lim Mijung feels insecure. Only those who have experienced this situation can understand the prospects created by the process. When I was in Boston, some architects around me were creating something unique according to themes such as stairways and gardens. These projects cannot be created on a large scale, and they are easy to miss without slowing down to see everyday life. Little by little, we are moving towards a society that requires community architects. If you think that you live as an architect who creates a human-friendly environment, everything will be precious.
Femininity and Its Meaning for Architecture
SPACE: Do you think there are feminine aspects that are different from a so-called masculinity in architecture?
KJI: I think personality is superior to femininity, but the fact that my identity as a woman affects my personality can’t be ignored. It is difficult to tell clearly whether certain aspects originate from my identity as a woman, or from my personality. Some male architects have a so-called femininity. It is not clear whether to consider it femininity or part of their personality, and there seems to be a universal character difference according to the socially accepted gender. For example, women tend to focus more on relationships. A female architect’s explanation of her work is much easier to sympathise with, and this applies to even novels and movies. It is difficult to investigate clearly, but the difference in the use of terminology and sentences stresses the importance of language.
CJW: As in other fields, events in the personal lives of women such as marriage, parenting and career breaks often relate to career management. It is difficult to distinguish between the private self and the public self in work. This led me to think that women can bring the baggage of their lives to work, like anyone. In addition, the design lessons at Ewha Womans University in the early 2000s reminded me of how femininity can be expressed in architectural plans. At that time, I felt that students had a strong tendency to always start with small details. Even in urban design, they gave me an impression of building up from something small, like a bench. They increased the scale from something close to them. So, I said them ‘you shouldn't do it like this. You should approach the design from the concept and structure’. One day, I read a book about the work of a feminism artist. Without putting up the intention, the artist added small objects that she collected intuitively and showed that the objects themselves had profound meaning. Suddenly, her work was connected to the works of my students, and I realised that it was narrow-minded to argue that it is the only right way to provide structure from abstract concepts and plans. I realised that I was taught in a male-oriented educational environment which was mostly comprised of male students and male professors, and that, ever since, I have trained myself and thought it was the right way to carry my point in practice to a similar environment.
Femininity may be a way or a vision that can capture something that is difficult to include in a large or more abstract approach for urban or architectural terms. In that sense, I think we need to train ourselves how to bring the female perspective into our practice.
There is a social housing project called Gifu Kitakata Garden City in Japan. Arata Isotaki took charge of master plan of the project which is designed by a team of five female architects and landscape architects, including Sejima and Elizabeth Diller. The project was quite impressive in that the whole design began with the individual plans instead of the whole block or an aggregated whole. The living environment created in the process of starting from a small single unit to the whole is different from that cast in the large framework that began from an abstract cause. In architecture and urban planning, 'femininity' has a lot of room for production and varied discussion. Instead of staying with biological difference and personal experience, femininity can have universality as a point of view that doesn’t miss something weak and small, when we read architecture and city, and a society and the world created by crossing over private self and public self. However, I think it has been too often regarded as a personal problem. I think it offers a new point of view to bring society and the city beyond the issue of women in architecture.
KJI: I heard a very impressive story on the radio about 15 years ago. It was a story about a female landscape architect, Gertrude Jekyll, who worked in England in the late eighteenth-century. Previously, while shapes and species of trees were major issues for garden plant design, she introduced the concepts of colour and texture. Listening to the story, I imagined what our city would look like if women had intervened in our living environment with a subjective perspective and made something together. Perhaps we would have looked at it with a different keyword. Most of the circumstances in which we live now are created by men, and many of the evaluators or clients were also male. I think I have unconsciously driven myself in that direction because I had to receive a favourable evaluation from that person. I seem to have made something similar to masculine culture rather than a concept originating with us. I think women should come to the front in at least half of society. Most particularly, more women should be in the position of decision-makers. Once I worked with a female vice president of a company. When the vice-president attended a meeting, the field manager and corporate executives asked me to attend too. Because I could smooth out the tone of the meeting thanks to the good comprehension of her story and usage of the same language as her. I realised that a female client can make a difference that way.
HKY: All the members of the recent Bangbae-dong Villa project consortium were men. I was the only woman, but the representative of the consortium always calls me when he gives a presentation. The project deals with houses, so they have to show the clients that it is carried out by a housewife. In that case, I was welcomed.
LMJ: We are also commissioned for housing projects; they are not big ones though. Later the client told me that he chose us because we are an architect couple. He expected that both men and women would be able to check the content related to housing together. I have never thought deeply about branding architecture as feminine or masculine, but there seems to be a social perception that women would have a scrupulous eye for living spaces.
SPACE: Is it applied to the actual design?
LMJ: I think it is, but we don't want to have such representativeness. As Kim Jeongim mentioned, it may be a personal tendency, and it may be the influence from the office where we practiced. Depending on what projects we've been working on, the two sides may differ. I'm inclined to pay more attention to the residential environment than my husband, Lee Seungtaek.
CJW: It is important not to pay attention to others rather than to objectify and make it universal. I'm used to communicating with clients in a way that's comfortable for me, and I've never thought that I can't satisfy them as I'm a woman. I speak in my voice. I have worked for a long time in the architectural world, and clients rarely visit me without knowing my previous projects. The emphasis on gender equality has led to an increasing number of requests for participation as judges and directors of State-owned Enterprise and Foundation boards. At first, I rejected the requests as I felt they came from a heterogeneous place and I wasn’t convinced of my contribution. However, I felt that if a woman had to go into an organisation which had never had a female member and make her voice heard for the first time, I should play the role given to me even if it was uncomfortable. It seems that it is time to take on the burden to improve the place quantitatively and qualitatively without losing it altogether. At first, we used divergent languages and I thought that I felt my voice stood out too much. I thought I used a too heterogeneous language, but I concluded that it was right to speak this way. In my experience, it is better to speak in my language, even though it may sound awkward, as it takes too much energy if I try to fit to others. The priority is to maintain my energy as low as possible to prolong my career.
RSY: Sometimes I participated in an event feeling a responsibility to represent the majority. When I attended the urban planning committee in Seoul Metropolitan Government, I was the only one who had this point of view. Public officials seemed very uncomfortable, and when the leader is awake, ‘let's pay attention and listen to that story’. I take part in a committee sincerely thinking that I speak for a voice that makes our society better. It is exhausting, and it is quite a burden to last until I can hand over the turn to the next person. To address femininity can still provide a lot of room for improvement in our society. Women’s career-breaks and the disrupted network of care results from the fact that the voice of the person who takes care of the living infrastructure is not reflected in the policy. It's because no one has devised a new word to convey this concept, but it's playing a very crucial role.
CJW: Sometimes, a rule that is not suitable for me is wrong one. If I am not the only one who feels uncomfortable with those rules, others should get used to the rules I introduce. Sometimes, I have to be bold with attitudes like, ‘I'm the first, but maybe not the last’. More and more players will introduce new rules in the future, and we can’t continue to propagate the attitude, ‘You know without explanation’. In our society, there are double standards, that is, superficial languages and various channels that actually determine content. That's where many women find it difficult. Although you may feel intuitively that there is a hidden absurdity in the superficial discussion, it is difficult to specify. The atmosphere seems to work through invisible forces that trivialise pointing out the absurdity. In that case, I'm involved in image training that doesn't care about what I want to do in the card game with many masters who can predict my play. If you don't do this, there's no way to reverse the game. As a rule of thumb, once you manage to turn the empty and heavy game around, you'll meet new friends who can create new rules and play new games.
RSY: It is a game changer. Our Society is gradually moving toward taking charge of the issue of childcare. If we don't listen to this voice, we'll get left behind. Demographic cliffs and career breaks are popular agendas everywhere. If they can’t find an opportunity to work in spite of so much investment, it will be a great loss to the country, and it became important to keep architects in practice, and to understood how to use women as human resources in an aging society. In fact, there were too many situations that prevented women from working, even in Europe, but it has improved with more women taking political positions. Addressing gender issues in our society will make us better able to cope with a diversified society by discovering problems that have been neglected, for example gender-neutral toilets.
Kim Sookjung, a co-principal architect who graduated in architecture from Chung-Ang University. Practicing at BCHO Architects, she has experience of creating spaces based on materiality, structural rationality, and the users’ experiences and perceptions with the intention of broadening the understanding of architecture-related fields through exhibition, publication, and other architecture-based projects. Kim has been operating a Ground Scale collaboratively as its founder since 2017, with the goal of expanding the scope and meaning of everyday architecture.
Kim Jeongim, the principal of Seoro Architects, has been practicing on projects of in various scales , including master plans, architectural designs, interior design and space display. She is interested not only in focusing and considering on dynamics and relationships between diverse elements in modern society but in reflecting them in architectural space. The NEW Headquarter, Seonjeongneung Neighborhood Facility, Samsung Seoul Campus Design Center, Seoul Square renovation, Cheil Worldwide Office planning, Cheil Worldwide Headquarter re-innovation, Paichai University Howard Hall and Hannam-dong La Terrasse are her selected major works. She graduated from Graduate School of Architecture in Yonsei University and won an award for excellence in Korean Architecture Award in 2011 with Paichai University Howard Hall and 2013 with hannam-dong La Terrasse.
Lim Mijung, the co-founder of stpmj Architecture, aims at attaining a ‘PROVOCATIVE REALISM’. She graduated from Yonsei University with B.S,?Rhode Island School of Design with?B.Arch, and Harvard Graduate School of Design with M. Arch. She received several awards and prizes with Lee Seungteak, co- founder of stpmj Architecture, including Korean Young Architects Award by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, American Institute of Architects New York New Practice New York in 2016 and Young Architects + Designers Prize by Architectural League of New York in 2012. Selected works are Shear House in Yecheon which won the AIA NY Design Award and KimSwoo Geun Preview Award, Kkotbit/AmorePacific headquarter passage, and five-story house.
Rieh Sun-Young is a registered architect in both Korea and the USA and currently a Professor in the Department of Architecture, University of Seoul. Rieh studied architecture at Seoul National University and earned an M. Arch degree from the Univ. of California, Berkeley. She received Arch.D degree from the University of Hawaii. Her current research topic and research based design work includes gender innovation and school sharing with the community in aged society. Her design project includes ‘Wonju house complex’, ‘Nuclear material Lab at Seoul National University’, ‘Junggok-dong Community Center Remodeling’. Her publications include Global Planning Innovations for Urban Sustainability(co-author), 2030 Seoul Plan Gender Analysis(co-author) and Boom or Bust?: The Future of Buildings in Teheran-ro District after the Gangnam Building Boom in Seoul? (as editor).
Cho Jaewon is the representative of 0_1 Studio. She has worked focusing on exploring and realising social spaces that add appropriate and sustainable value to lives of individuals and community. Her recent works include 00 Ground_001, coworking office DreamPlus. She won the Jeju Architecture Award thanks to the Jeju stone house Floating L in 2010, Public Design Award thanks to Outdoor Theater in Daegu in 2011, and Seoul Architecture Award thanks to Co-working space CoW & DoG in 2016.
Han Kiyoung is a Vice President of Gansam Architects & Partners. She is interested in total design that harmonises the whole with each part such as architecture, interior design, landscape and lighting. Her representative works include PARADISE CITY Integrated Resort, Hanwha Resort Geoje Belvedere, Jeju Pheonix Island, Jeju Museum of Art, Ulsan Museum, Myongji University Bangmok Library, Yonsei University Baekyangro Recreation Project. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Department of Architectural Engineering, Seoul National University and her master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. She won the Korean Architecture Award thanks to Myongji University Bangmok Library in 2010.