Collaborative Craft Laboratory in Euljiro, Seoul
Lim, Sae Jin
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The small-scale craft-based manufacturing district, Euljiro, in the historic area of Seoul, South Korea, is facing insensitive redevelopment and gentrification. Despite the multiple attempts to revive the industry, the craft makers and suppliers are on the verge of losing their workplaces and collaborative culture. The thesis aims to revitalize Euljiro to improve appreciation and acknowledgement of its historical and cultural significance by creating Collaborative Craft Laboratory. The Korean notion, Mahk, that values the process, accumulated traces, spontaneity, and harmony, shapes a significant part of the Korean culture. The thesis implements Mahk as a design strategy to maintain the authenticity of the Euljiro area. Merger, Overlap, Spontaneity, and Interweave are the strategies to design multi-level craft workshops, learning spaces, and public amenities. This design approach aims to respect the inherent identity of the area and enhance collaboration among craftspeople and interactions with visitors from the city at large.