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THE FAR GAME: Constraints Sparking Creativity


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 - Korean architects turn regulatory constraints into creative ideas

 - The Korean Pavilion to highlight social issues of FAR (Floor Area Ratio) through analyzing 600,000 buildings in Seoul

The Korean Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will present The FAR Game: Constraints Sparking Creativity. FAR (Floor Area Ratio) refers to the ratio of a building's total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built. The FAR Game, curated by Sung Hong Kim and presented by Arts Council Korea, will explore the challenges and achievements of contemporary Korean architecture, under these regulatory constraints, and will illustrate the struggle of architects in Seoul who strive to improve the residents’ quality of life by utilising space effectively.

Explaining the theme of this year’s Korean Pavilion, Curator Sung Hong Kim stated that “for the past 50 years, maximizing FAR has been the driving force behind the sustainable growth of Korean urban architecture, and remains to be the most challenging task for the majority of architects today”. In the midst of the ongoing tug of war between market demands and
government regulations, Korean urban architects are consistently asked to come up with innovative solutions to overcome the constraints and satisfy three parties: landlords (customer) who want to maximize the floor area on the limited piece of land, government (regulator) that restricts and controls the ratios, and developers (supplier) who try to find best solutions to satisfy both sides.

In response to the intensified need for more space in Korean urban structures, Kim and his team analyzed 600,000 buildings in Seoul to identify the problems and solutions in FAR regulations. Displaying 72 large models and blueprints of 36 buildings, the exhibition will highlight the experimental spirit of contemporary Korean architects and illustrate new designs for working class residences such as multifamily housing and mixed-use commercial and residential buildings. The FAR Game explores the potential of the city’s regeneration on a small scale and discusses the social and cultural implications of FAR in Korean urban architecture.
010  Foreword_ Myung Jin PARK

014  Curatorial Foreword
       Why the FAR (Floor Area Ratio)  Game?_ Sung Hong KIM

018  Exhibits

020  Preface
022  Section 1: What are the Rules of the Game?
030  Section 2: How is the FAR Game Played?
040  Section 3: What are the Forces at Play in the FAR Game?
062  Section 4: Artist Perspectives on the FAR Game
       Seongeun KANG, Seung Woo BACK, Yeondoo JUNG, Kyungsub SHIN
096  Section 5: Why Does the FAR Game Matter?

100  Essays&Interviews

102  The City  as an Interface of Scales:Gangnam Urbanism _ John Peponis with James Park and Chen Feng
112  Simple Math: Envelope Economics and the FAR Game_ Marc Simmons
124  London vs Seoul: Life After FAR _Rowan Moore
130 Here and Now Seoul:Ten Memos for Our Present Millennium_ Peter Winston Ferretto
140 The Nakwon Principle _ Julian Worrall
148  Diversity in Density: Looking Back and Forth_ Meta Berghauser Pont with Lars Marcus
158  Dreaming of Density _ Neville Mars
174  The Rise and Fall of FAR in Korea_ Kyung-Min KIM
182 How FAR can we go?_Interview with Winy Maas by Sung Hong KIM

193  36 Projects Showcased

194  Matrix of Design Tactics Used in the 36 Buildings

272  Afterwords from the Curators
284  Biographies l List of Participants l Notes
Exhibitors / Curators 

Sung Hong KIM is a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of Seoul. Between 2007 and 2010 he organized
an exhibition entitled “Megacity Network: Contemporary Korean Architecture” and brought it to Frankfurt, Berlin, Tallinn,
Barcelona and Gwacheon, Korea. He has authored books, papers and essays about contemporary Korean architecture and
urbanism including ‘Future Asian Space’ (2012), ‘Street Corner Architecture’ (2011), ‘On Asian Streets and Public Space’ (2010), ‘New Imagination of Urban Architecture’ (2009), and ‘Megacity Network’ (2007). Kim was a Field Editor for the Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering (JAABE) from 2010 to 2012, and is currently Chief Editor for SPACE Academia.

Eungee CINN is an assistant professor at Incheon National University. She studied architectural design and theory at
Seoul National University (Seoul, Korea) and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, US). She has written several papers, including her Ph.D thesis which focuses on the standardization of architectural designs under given social conditions and its transformation by users and architects.

Keehyun AHN is an assistant professor at the School of Architecture in Hanyang University. He founded AnLstudio in
2009 which has gained global recognition for its digital design research and architectural practice. He was selected as the Best of the Best at the 2010 Red Dot Award held in Germany. Through AnLstudio he has completed built projects and held exhibitions in Korea (Seoul, Gwangjoo, and Jeju), China (Guangzhou), and Australia (Brisbane). Engaged in projects of all scales, his work specializes in the integration of architecture, art installations and public space.

Seungbum KIM is a Director of the VW LAB in Seoul. He explores human desire and behaviors by analyzing spatial data and
related text language and visualizing them. He received his Ph.D in Architecture with a research paper on the impact of public discourse on the production process of public buildings. In 2014, he was a curator for the exhibition “Seoul: Towards a Meta City” held in Berlin’s AEDES Gallery.

Isak CHUNG started the in 2013, and has conducted social architecture works such as “Artist Residency at
Propaganda Village”, “Yeonpyeong Island Library”, “Hello Museum”, "Dongducheon Rehabilitation Center Renovation”, and many others. He has done public research for “The Master Plan of DMZ Peace Park” and "On-Site Museum Master Plan of
Seoul City Wall". He participated in the “Real DMZ Project” as Chief Coordinator (2013), and he was co-curator for the urban art project “Seoul Seoul Seoul” (2015). He received the Korea Public Design Award from the Ministry of Culture, Sports &
Tourism (2015), and the "It-Award" from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (2015).

Da Eun JEONG is an activist of urban and architectural culture. She worked at Studio Asylum and Mass Studies and is
currently engaged in research projects about urban archiving and monitoring at the University of Seoul. She participated in
the exhibition ‘memoryscape’ (2010), a photo retrospective of unheralded buildings in Seoul over 30 years old. She lead
a series of architectural tours called ‘Encountering Early Apartments of Seoul’ via Open House Seoul (2014) and the
Seoul Architecture Festival (2015). She also curated the SNS-based social platform ‘#citythru’.