“SamokSamok”: traditional building methods for self-repair in Seoul
CAN Korea is made of architects engaged in the ACCA program, working either with communities in Seoul, or with community organisers promoting the use of vernacular architecture. The network was launched after the 2012 workshop with vinyl house communities in Seoul.
Its latest activity was a 10--day architectural workshop, “Samoksamok Learning by doing: lifelong skills of repairing houses”, held in November 2014. Toad Housing, an architectural social enterprise in Seoul and a member of CAN Korea organised the workshop with the support from the Seoul Metropolitan Government. SamokSamok translates to “little by little” in Korean dialect. The workshop aim was to promote people--centred and tenure--protecting housing upgrading and urban regeneration as an alternative to conventional tearing down and building anew redevelopment approaches. If people can be trained and supported in repairing their own homes and maeul (village community), the city can be improved and regenerated by and for the people who live in it.
The participatory workshop facilitated the knowledge sharing of traditional building techniques for individuals and communities to repair their houses and upgrade their neighbourhoods themselves. It developed skills in drawing and measuring, insulation, soil-plastering walls, tiling, anti-sweating and painting to build a healthy, pleasant and energy-saving home. The traditional art of plastering walls using a mix of dried rice straw and soil as insulating material was most appreciated by the participants.
20 participants enjoyed the workshop, and in teams of six practiced their newly learned skills at an uninhabited house in Eunpyeong-gu district in the city. This was the fifth workshop facilitated by Toad Housing with the theme “repairing”, targeting individuals with a keen interest in repairing their homes, and/or in need of repairing their old dilapidated homes suffering financial difficulties.
However unlike the previous four workshops, participants in this one could learn by doing; planning, drawing and practicing in a team. The other CAN Korea members provided strong support in organising and conducting this design workshop. Upon completion, CAN Korea hopes that the participants can repair and upgrade their neighbourhoods with their communities. | CAN Korea