This program is geared primarily to students majoring or minoring in Engineering, Technology, Business, and Art with an interest in learning about building design and construction in South Korea. This program also welcomes any student needing to obtain credits abroad for international general education requirements.
South Korea had one of the world’s fastest growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s and is still one of the fastest-growing developed countries. Currently, South Korea is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 major economies. Because of the country’s rapidly growing economy, new construction is constant. Architectural styles in Korea span from centuries-old traditional palaces and villages to stunning skyscrapers in Seoul’s modern Gangnam District. One goal of this course is to study the spirit of Korean culture and architecture and its connection to modern buildings. The group will meet with local design and construction professionals and tour historical sites.
The tour of historic sites includes the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the royal palace first built in 1395; the Changdeokgung Palace, the most favored palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897); Chokseoknu Pavilion first built in 1241, one of the most beautiful Korean pavilions in the Yeongnam region; and Beomeosa Temple established in 678, one of the country’s best known urban temples. In addition to traditional architecture, the group visits new construction project sites to learn about the current Korean construction industry. Daytrips in Seoul include trips to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza designed by Zaha Hadid and Samoo, a major urban development landmark in Seoul; the Leeum Museum designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta; and, the Lotte World Tower, a 123-floor, 555-metre super tall skyscraper located in Seoul.
The program is led by Prof. Namhun Lee and Prof. Jiyong Choi, natives of South Korea with ties to the country’s construction industry.