International Union of Architects

Student Competition on Post-human urbanity: A biosynthetic future on Namsan


Biosynthetic habitat


The UIA 2017 Seoul International Ideas Competition for Students and Young Designers has been successfully concluded.



The theme for the challenging competition was Post-human Urbanity: A Biosynthetic Future on Namson.  Students were invited to reflect on the subject of urban regeneration for the village of Haebangchon (“Liberation Village”) on Namsan in the city of Seoul.  The objective was to imagine a “more organic city” in which human beings are only one of the many living participants in an “intricately intertwined spectrum of life.” 

Haebangchon was first used as a shooting range for Japanese soldiers during the colonial period, later becoming the site of the first shantytowns in Seoul, housing repatriates from abroad and North Korean migrants.  Since the 1970s, the area has been home to urban migrants.

Today, student and young designers were requested to find a middle path between calls for the area to be converted into a “Green Corridor” wildlife reserve and a more gradual regeneration process, which would leave communities intact while fostering economic development and coexistence with nature.

The jury, composed of architects Jae Uk Chong, Minsuk Cho, Marc Brossa and Laurent Pereira and professors Choon Choi and Gwangya Han, evaluated over 250 projects from 21 countries worldwide.

The jury sought a project demonstrating “sincere empathy towards all animals – human and non-human – as a pre-condition for post human urbanity.”




Organizing Committee of UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress 


The following prizes were divided as follows:



“Carbon Neutral City Under Biological Intervention” – Zhua Zhang (Qingdao University of Technology, China)

“Patch’s Patch” – Xuehan Li (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China)



“URBAN YEAST” – Kun Yang (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China)

“Natural Resources Oriented New Park” – Shuai Fang (Northwestern Polytechnical University, China)

“SWEET LIFE: A PROPOSAL ABOUT BEES, FLOWERS & COMMUNITY” – Yi Ling (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China)

“Eco-cluster Life” – Xiaoyi Feng (Qingdao University of Technology, China)

“LIBERATION VILLAGE” – Hyeonsung Choi (KROO, Korea)



Xiuzheng li’s project “Equal Path” won First Prize for its depiction of a “well-balanced environment in which a subtle overlay of aviary-like infrastructure can help sustain livelihoods of fragile non-human animals within a recognizably human habitat.”  Xiuzheng li is a student at Tsinghua University (China).



Jury Chairman: Minsuk Cho, architect, Massstudies (Korea)

Gwangya Han, professor, Dongguk University (Korea)

Marc Brossa, architect (USA)

Laurent Pereira, architect (France)