화요일, 5월 18, 2021

A New form of Architecture Firms: ‘Cooperative’

Recently, a number of and are being established rather than .

They study architecture and cities, and design them (planning/designing/constructing). Architects may then raise a question, “How is it different from architecture firms?”

‘Chamwoori Urban Detail , a Cooperative of architects and master craftsmen of Hanok (traditional Korean-style house) has recently opened its doors in Myeongyun-dong.

A ‘Cooperative’ is a form of legal person where all members invest together and distribute its profit evenly. And this type of business association has yet been commonly found in the field of architecture.  It aims to share the managerial burden and risk, and pursue a system with a higher level of autonomy and an organizational structure that guarantees equality and a more harmonious decision-making process. .

Hanok is different from contemporary architecture and it requires intimate cooperation between contractors (carpenters) and architects. Thus, this Hanok Cooperative seems rather natural even at its first attempt, given the nature of work. With a friendly house-warming party at the end of August last year, their new venture kicked off.

In addition, there is Social Enterprise for the architectural arena. A social enterprise is relatively a common business format but it may be fair to say that is quite new.

Currently ‘Urban Society’, a design group, is getting ready to be established as a social enterprise thanks to a start-up support. Their interest lies, for example, on the urban regeneration initiative driven by inhabitants and the like, which may not promise a great deal of profit but serves public interest.

Their scope of projects does not cover general architecture, such as, apartments and offices. The shift of their focus on such new items like Hanok and urban regeneration has enabled them to adopt a new type of business. Even if such a business model is still on an ‘experiment’ stage in this industry, it certainly deserves a close attention as it deviates from the conventional way of doing things.

An excessive number of architecture students graduate every year without comparative competitiveness, and the majority of them wishes to find their first job at large construction firms, architecture firms, public enterprises and with the government. Even after they succeeded in landing their dream jobs, the harsh reality of early retirement would still corner them.

The current architectural curriculum in higher education however cannot accommodate a demand for professionals specialized not only in design and/or construction but also in other related fields, like drafting, management, and marketing on top of basic architectural training. Thus, for a variety of reasons, we need to encourage these pioneers who break the conventional system of business management, and pay our due respect to a promising future of their infant attempts to create such a new territory.

 

Writer:
Yee OhJooEun
architectural journalist
email: yojest@naver.com

 

The article offers received.
Original article : http://www.conslove.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=35219 (Korean language)

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