DMZ Village Stay: Blurred Crossings

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Extreme contrast between tense reality of a highly militarized area and the artificially tourist facade that almost feels like Disney World..

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DMZ Fence tourist attraction - Our studio group posing with required military vests.

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Concept model: demonstrating the reflective mechanisms of the propoganda villages.

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Concept model: artificial and natural control mechanisms of the village stay.

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Site map: yellow areas indicate tourist access paths/points.

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Comic book of proposed tour itinerary.

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The tour exposes control mechanisms to make the tourist aware and critical.

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  • Fall 2011
  • Architecture: Parallel Utopias
  • Site: Korean DMZ
  • Instructor: Yehre Suh
  • Collaborator: Denise Pereira
  • Presented at the DMZ Forum 2011 Annual Conference in NYC

[parody-critique on conflict tourism model in Korea's demilitarized zone]

In the Korean DMZ a sharp contrast exists between the tense reality of the most highly militarized area in the world and the artificially happy facade sustained by the tourism industry. This blocks any true understanding of the current conflict between the two Koreas, reducing a complex political history into black and white.

This proposal aims to work within the bounds of the tourism network already in place to expose the absurdity of the existing tourism and educate the tourist differently.

The overnight village stay employs the double capabilities of fog to both romanticize and constrict an environment to allow the tourist contrasting experiences. First a confronting them with the folly of the tour itself, then allowing an opportunity for sincere reflection and potential cross-boundary interaction.

National Geographic Daily News Feature | Parody Tour Video