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Utopian Mullae-dong

Dario Lanfranconi

“Utopian Mullae-dong” intends to visualise and evaluate the ideas of individuals within large-scale urban planning processes, and how these people, and their ideas, can be integrated in the development of new visions for an urban place.

Dario Lanfranconi travelled to South Korea and documented Mullae-dong, one of Seoul’s last remaining industrial districts. A booming textile centre in the 1940’s, Mullae-dong turned into a neighbourhood living off steel manufacturing. Today the quarter is home to a unique community, composed of steel workers and artists living and working next to each other. This development has occurred spontaneously and without any form of official spatial planning. Although high-rise apartment blocks surround the district, the urban future of the neighbourhood remains unclear, due to the absence of any urbanization policy. For the inhabitants living there it is a challenge, but they also realise that their Mullae-dong is a fertile ground over which a variety of urban concepts may sprout.

The project portrays protagonists of the different local groups (steel workers, artists, gallery owners, residents and planners) describing their personal relationship to Mullae-dong. Lanfranconi then re-situated their visions on the neighbourhood with spatial installations on rooftops, generating a local exhibition in Seoul that instigated a public debate.

The collected material – interviews, pictures, drawings, and site documentation – was later amalgamated within a 3D reconstruction of the district that can be accessed in the form of an interactive web documentary.


Utopian Mullea Dong, Introduction, 2015
Interview Jae-Eun Choi, Mullae-dong, Seoul_2014
Overview Installations, Mullae-dong, Seoul_2015
Utopian Mullea Dong, Draft, 2015
Installation Habitat, Mullae-dong, Seoul 2015
Exhibition, Mullae-dong, Seoul_2015
Utopian Mullae-dong, 2015
Utopian Mullae-dong, 2015
Overview Installations, Mullae-dong, Seoul 2015
Utopian Mullae-dong, Rendering, 2015
Utopian Mullae-dong, Rendering, 2015
Utopian Mullea Dong, Game Engine, 2015

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