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Urban Designs from South Korea: Chris Ro

May 10, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

*This talk is hybrid (in-person & remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.

About The Lights Are On, But Nobody’s Home

This talk will discuss the familiar and unending battle between intuition and logic. As a graphic designer trained to always do the right thing, Chris will discuss his recent struggles with doing the right thing and how not doing the right thing has been the right thing. He will discuss recent projects that sit in this precarious valley, somewhere in between art and design.

About the Speaker

Chris Ro (he/him) is a designer and graphic artist. His work can be characterized by its kinetic, spatial, poetic, and atmospheric properties. Born in Seattle, Chris studied architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. After working as both an architect and a designer, he went on to study graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design. This mixed background continues to influence his explorations, which fluctuate between two and three dimensions. He is often at home when exploring concepts in motion and space and their relationship to the more static surfaces of graphic design. He recently finished research exploring concepts in Korean space at the Seoul National University. His work has been exhibited all over the world and is part of the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Die Neue Sammlung, and the National Hangeul Museum.

About Urban Designs from South Korea: Architecture, Ecology and Communities from South Korea

This series will present various designers from South Korea, who are engaged in urban and rural regeneration projects, graphic art, video projects and other projects that are taking place in South Korea. Presenters will discuss why design is crucial in Architecture, Ecology and Communities in South Korea.

Many of the speakers in this series will be presenting their works in the Project “2086: Together How?” that will be presented in the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale in Italy, opening on May 20th, 2023. Presenters include “2086: Together How?” co-curator Soik Jung (Urban Mediation Project), and exhibitors, architect Yerin Kang (Society of Architecture), graphic artist Chris Ro (founder of ADearFriend) and video artist Jaekyung Jung (founder of shhh).

Bringing together architects, community leaders and artists, this project is about how we might be working together to endure current and future environmental crises until 2086 – the year when the global population is supposed to peak. Through a participatory video game, and with photographs, drawings, models and video and architectural installations, the exhibition is designed to invite audiences to imagine an ecocultural revolution through a critical reassessment of our capitalist, globalist, and colonial history.

They will present various communities with active regeneration projects in South Korea, inside the global city of Incheon, the colonial historic center in the mid-size city of Gunsan and in the rural areas of foreign migrant workers in Gyeonggi Province. These locations constitute a cross section of urbanization, modernization, and westernization in South Korea. They will show their collaboration with the local community leaders, and their ideas and design for the future of these communities. Each community is a case study which utilizes the community leader’s deep knowledge of the place and the architect’s spatial analysis to evaluate its current state, and propose site-specific future scenarios leading up to 2086.


May 10, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:


Design and Innovation Building
Room 208
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