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Design Under Sky discusses landscape architecture, the utilitarian but leaning towards the conceptual, thinking on modern occurrences and peripheral boundaries.  

DUS is the blog and personal design studio of Adam E. Anderson, a designer based out of the East Coast, currently a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a designer at Landworks Studio.

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December 2011
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{Screen print varieties of the Seoul Complexcity diagram. Image via: Lee Jang Sub}

The Complexcity project explores major cities around the world focussing on how their urban sprawls have evolved over time. Using the patterns formed by roads in each city, Korean born designer Lee Jang Sub creates complex graphic configurations, combining the idea of natural and man made systems. In the process he finds a concealed aesthetic within the convoluted pattern of urban networks. He started with his hometown Seoul, and has already completed Paris, Rome, and Moscow.

Lee Jang describes his process: 

We can clearly see the mixed and disordered image of Seoul from a map of Seoul. Seoul is a city which has rapidly expanded to evolve into a modern city. Therefore, the map of this city is composed of naturally created patterns in which there is no rule or regularity. I have tried to find a new possibility from these disordered patterns.

My installation work consists of a tree and space surrounding it. The tree composed of patterns of a disordered city is actually maintaining a state of harmony, although invisible. Also it resembles lives of nature and symbolizes the invisible order of the city. The patterns surrounding the tree are connected to one another and they become more and more complicated. However as a whole, we can find it as a process of forming a new order.

Through this work, I would like to suggest they don't see the complexity of a city only as an object that should be neatly arranged. Instead I propose a new approach of finding order in the ComplexCity, Seoul.

Each one of branches in a big tree seems to be disorderly spreaded with no rules, but when you see the whole tree, you can find it is in perfect harmony. Nature has a balance which we cannot see with our vision. I created this tree with patterns of roads spontaneously developed in a city, Seoul. I could find the patterns in a map of Seoul which represents the complexity of the city.

{Graphic Development Diagrams. Image via: Lee Jang Sub}

{Final Seoul Diagrams. Image via: Lee Jang Sub} 

{MoscowDiagram. Image via:Lee Jang Sub} 

{Paris Diagram. Image via: Lee Jang Sub}

Jang Sub speaks of an "invisible order" of a city, which I think exists, but in an actual less choatic order then he suggests.  If you look at fractal geometry, it could be said that nothing is created without pristine mathmatical order.  We are for the most part incapable of seeing it because of the two opposite spectrums of scale in which they occur.  Cities grow like a living creature, like an amoeba, fungus, or coral reef, regenerating itself in a manner that best suits the needs of the organism.  Its growth evolves through the makeup of its different "cells", or components, the geography and environment from which it orginated, and the effects of outside factors (i.e. war, weather).

Like any other organism, the health of the city depends on its ability to maintain homeostasis and to fight off infections, a result from poor planning and design.  Dare I theorize that is the cancer of a city?

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