Third Prize – Next7 2015 Competition

City populations are expected to grow by five billion people and expand by 1.2 million square kilometers by 2030. One of the effect is obesity and car overuse in “sprawling” cities (“Urban Sprawl Piles on the Pounds”). People in “sprawling” cities rely on cars to get them to work, school, church, or extracurricular activities, and gain weight because they are sitting as opposed to walking.

Also Urban and residential area expansion cause significant forest loss, both in the consumption of building materials and as a source of land. While urbanization can reduce direct pressures on forests by the migration of rural residents to population centers, urban and suburban sprawl can be damaging when they occur in frontier settlements and boomtowns.

Centrally planned urban experiments has resulted in tremendous forest loss in parts of the world.

Rural abandonment can also spur outright conversion of forest by industrial farmers and ranchers, especially in areas suitable for large-scale agriculture.

The way to stop population explosion and unregulated urban sprawl is to compact cities and plan future cities to be compact. We are to propose the design – virtual reality – compact future cities in a vertical community as a whole.


Seoul is one of the most densely populated mega-city, which is approximately 17,000 people per ㎢. (“Asia accounts for over 60% of the world’s population with more than 4 billion people,” M.M Goel.)

Only fifty years ago, 1953, the ending of the Korean war, Seoul had a population of around 1,010,416 people. As of March 2013 the estimated population of Seoul is 10,438,000.

Because Seoul provided greater opportunities for employment, Seoul quickly became overpopulated. Since the 1970s, Seoul has become the key driver of the Korean economy and the home for many people. Today, the crowded and highly dense city faces a variety of problems that accompany rapid industrialization and urbanization. Because it is over population, they have not enough room for the citizens in this city. This is one of the issues that this city has because if the population keeps rising this rapidly there will not be enough room.

Seoul, during the summer, has an average August temperature of 25.5 C. Air and water pollution are a major problem for Seoul’s tourism industry. During the hotter seasons, a large amount of air pollution forms a thick layer, which is commonly known as “smog” making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Accessibility to clean water is limited, despite the Korean government claiming the safety of the water, most Korean residents suggest buying drinking water from shops where water has been processed.

Levels of sulphur and nitrogen oxides in the Korean air from January 12 to 15 were up to four times higher than in the same dates last year. According to Oh Young-min (Research Scientist), “Our country’s air pollution is affected by air pollution in China, because pollutant substances are blown in by westerly winds, around 40% of nitrogen oxide in South Korea’s air comes from China.”

Urban planning

The total area of Seoul is approximately 600km2, with 60% of constructive area (exclusive of water and green zone) which is 363km2.

Assuming that minimum requirements for individual space is 20m2, multiplying total population equals 205km2.

With VR technology spatial efficiency largely improves, and only 14 VR city in Seoul will be able to compact two thirds of constructive area, leaving space for green zone and natural habitats.


As city scale shrinks and community extends vertically, more space are left for nature to flourish. Why do we always try to prison nature into blocks of green zone, losing its essential for squeezing into urban structure. The nature will always be around us, which would have been impossible in previous horizontal urban structure

Everything starts from the very minimized space, but provides infinite possibility in how mechanism works and to be customized by users. Virtual reality would play the role of forming a platform – to meet people’s needs in daily life.

Virtual reality able infrastructure to be compact and minimal. Information and data would be digitalized meeting people in a brand new way. Network starts to get organized, consists of a mixture in physical and virtual space.


The structure consists of main core and 7 divided surrounding layer of 120 degree pipe – formed masses,

Rails are installed vertically on to external surface of main core, elevating the masses which rotates along segmented core units, randomly forming variable figure in whole, and mixing public and personal space into an interactive community.

Virtual skin is visualized through projection device which locates on sides of masses, the energy used for realization is transported from the main core through structural connection.

For compacting individual and public space with other infrastructure into certain masses, spatial efficiency is largely improved, assuming that the minimum requirement of space for individual as 35 m2 (compared to 20 m2 assigned currently), and offering a new paradigm in organizing physical dimension.

Overcoming the limitation in physical space organization, VR technology maximize the variable possibility with least material constraints, allowing a plentiful life.



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