Connected City

Exploring, re-imagining and re-connecting with the cities we live in

Rapid urban shifts in the city of Seoul in Korea have been reflected in changes to the daily lives of the people who live there.

This has instigated discussions around key issues such as gentrification and urban manufacturing, alongside the role culture can play in regeneration, and how arts in the public realm can bring people together.

Inspired by these themes, the Connected City programme in Seoul - part of the UK/Korea 2017-18 season - provided a way for communities to explore, re-imagine and re-connect with the city they live in.

Watch two films made in Seoul

The two films below give an insight into a fascinating metropolis that’s developed at an unprecedented pace. They also provide a snapshot of how Seoul’s artists, designers, architects, makers and creative communities are responding to the pace of change in their everyday lives and environment.

Film 1: Making and the Connected City

This film focuses on two residency projects that consider the challenges of regeneration and gentrification, and how they impact makers and creative communities in Seoul, specifically in relation to the global issue of decline in local skilled manufacturing in cities.

Project Seoul Apparel is a residency and exhibition project, focusing on the numerous garment factories in Changsin-dong, Seoul’s traditional textile quarter. The exhibition presents a series of propositions for a better future for the people and businesses of Changsin-dong.

One of the handmade pairs of shoes created as part of the Neon x Shoe Street residency. 

One of the handmade pairs of shoes created as part of the Neon x Shoe Street residency. 

Neon x Shoe Street builds on these themes, in the form of a residency by UK-based design practice Neon who oversaw the creation of 10 handmade pairs of shoes by local makers from Seoul’s ‘Shoe Street’.

It is a compelling narrative about change in a city; what we stand to gain and what we might lose.

Watch the film below:

Film two: Arts and the Connected City

This films looks at two of the ways that the Connected City programme encouraged communities to re-engage with various parts of their city through arts projects and performances in public spaces.

Musicity is a global project that invites musicians and composers to create a soundtrack in response to a building, site or part of the city that inspires them. In Seoul, four Korean and three UK musicians composed original music for locations they selected.

A performance of Conflict - a new collaborative work by Joowon Song and Steve Hellier.

A performance of Conflict - a new collaborative work by Joowon Song and Steve Hellier.

Conflict is a collaborative performance developed by Korean choreographer Joowon Song and British sound artist Steve Hellier, situated in a stunning public amphitheatre.

Watch the film below:

“We want our audience to venture out, to be active not passive consumers of contemporary music, to explore cities, and to experience the urban environment in new and unexpected ways, through music that is entirely connected to it.”
- Musicity founder, Nick Luscombe

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (designed by Zaha Hadid Architects) was one of the Musicity locations in Seoul.

Connected City is part of the UK/Korea 2017-18 season and was hosted by British Council, Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Design Foundation.