CABINET Benjamin Vanmuysen

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Gallery Image
2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture
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Figure Ground
Figure Ground
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Plan
Plan Segway Station
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Perspective
View Segway Station
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Plan
Plan Drone Charging Station
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Perspective
View Drone Charging Station
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Euljiro Underpass 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism: Imminent Commons Exhibition: September 1-November 5, 2017 Co-directors: Hyungmin Pai, Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Customers want everything these days, they need the advantages of the digital: broad product selection, product background information and customer reviews, but they also crave the perks of the physical stores, such as its tactile product experience, available human assistance and the opportunity to get out of the house. This project aims to satisfy both demands by merging the digital with the brick-and-mortar store in-between Euljiro's subway line and its avenue: the Euljiro Underpass. The “Tesco Home plus Virtual Supermarket” located at the Seolleung subway station in Seoul became a key precedent for this research project. Homeplus’ virtual store increased their sales by 130%, indicating that an interface between an online and offline business can be attractive and successful. The indispensable digital technologies responsible for this venue allowed storefronts to become much more compact and will inevitably transform the shopping typology we are familiar with today. This project tries to address such shopping hybrid and proposes to convert the Euljiro underpass in Seoul into the longest virtual shopping mall in the world. Instead of trying to reconnect the Euljiro with the street above, the project is embracing its separation by mutating the underpass into a distinct virtual world, baptized as the upside down. This strategy doesn’t only enhance the visitor’s commercial experience, but also liberates the current human retailers from this somber tunnel.