Human activity and its far-reaching interactions have always transformed territories by moving people, plants, goods and animals. As such, territories have become richly stratified – and interactions are always mutual and two-way. Countries and cities projecting their influence elsewhere have, in turn, been transformed by external inputs.
As a consequence of the more than 65 years long near absence of human activity, the Korean DMZ land strip has become a verdant 984 square kilometers nature reserve where endangered flora and fauna species had the chance to regain space.
The Korean DMZ has become a testimony to unintentional beauty. Thriving vegetation and undisturbed wildlife now cover the painful, conflict-born void along the military demarcation.
Over the last few years, it has gathered international attention due to its symbolic value as well as to individual and bilateral bids by North and South Korea securing UNESCO Biosphere status for areas of the DMZ.
To reinforce the significance of public space we have to deal with at least two “public”, the global and the local public, by creating spheres where local and global public space can fuse and interchange.
In architecture’s role of defining and materialising the spaces for social interaction, designing the relationship between the physical and digital public domain is becoming THE challenge: investigating the relation and interconnection of the ‘soft’ city with its finite material counterpart, the living environment, speculating about interfaces between the ‘virtual’ and the material urban world, and designing hybrid (analog-digital) communicational spaces.
Soft Urbanism deals with information/communication processes in space, the soft aspects overlying the urban sprawl.
To understand the fusions, the superimposition and the interactions of media and ‘real’ architectural/urban spaces, the new term ‘idensity®’ replaces the obsolete conventional terms of spatial distinction.
Cross-fertilisation, borrowing other’s ideas and incorporating elements of other’s culture into one’s own is crucial to cultural development.
Developments in the field of Domotica, the house is becoming SMART.
New interdisciplinary fields of planning and design are introduced: Soft Urbanism, exploring the interaction of urbanism and the space of mass media and communication networks, and Hybrid Space Design, developing fused analog-digital / architectural-media spaces.
Public urban space and the “space” of communication networks are usually considered to be competing, even mutually exclusive frameworks for social interaction. In fact, the traditional functions of public urban space are being taken over by telecommunication networks, their input/output devices implanted in (private) interiors.
The new image of Man looks roughly like this: we have to imagine a network of human interrelations, a ‘field of intersubjective relations’. The strands of this web must be conceived as channels through which information (ideas, feelings, intentions and knowledge etc.) flows. When these strands knot for a moment, they form what we call ‘human subjects’. The totality of the strands constitutes the concrete sphere of life and the knots are abstract extrapolations.
Often, comparisons, parallels to landscape, are drawn to nature in the work of Behnisch & Partner.