- VONSUNG Pavilion
London Design Festival 2010
THE VONSUNG PAVILION
For the past several years, I have been thinking about the question of what is organic architecture and design. My tentative conclusion had been that my place was with neither modernism nor postmodernism. Both modernism and postmodernism are ultimately forms of internationalism. As I am averse to high-pressure salesmanship ofinternational goods, how then could I translate my non-formal, material-based approach into design?
While I am sympathetic to the interest of cutting, pasting and remixing in design, I feel that this database we use is the same asthat of American postmodernism - exaggerated clichés of Greek and Roman styles. I searched high and low for something in this project to embrace themateriality of the Valchromat wood boards on the outside, and my use of Bolonvinyl sheets for the floor, walls and ceiling - an attempt to envelop spacewith the distinctive softness and gentleness of bonding particles used for thisparticular pavilion.
I was troubled when I discovered that columns andbeams of 40 centimeters thick have none of the gentleness and softness characteristic of wood material. How can the delicacy of wood bepreserved? After much study, we developed a structural system based on MWS' four slender scaffolding columns bundled together with timber beam inserted at mid-height. By following this example, I was trying toachieve something that approached my ideal of wooden architecture. This was neither a problem of form nor a problem of detail. I was not dealingwith the silhouette (i.e. form) of the pavilion, but instead my mission was tosearch for the way materials ought to be. I was exploring the relationship between a material and the human body. I was consideringwhat sort of relationship might be established between the Bolon and Valchromat and the human body. I was studying the relationship with two impending materials, including the structural and mechanical systems needed to protect that fragile thing called the human body. A material can act on the humanbody in entirely different ways. Here, it may make more sense to use the word "organisms" instead of "human beings".
I therefore follow a new organic architecture and design based on this new view of organisms. It has to do with the relationship between the body and the environment, a relationship mediated by space. We feel happy when we are surrounded by particles of pleasant dimensions. Our bodies are not comfortable with a particle that is larger or smaller thanthat. I am now beginning to discover the relationship between the body and theenvironment after many years of practice. I wish to propose a new organic design based on that modest view of life.
Joseph Sung, September 2010