WEAPON OF MASS ENTERTAINMENT

2015 evolo skyscraper competition entry

Design Team:

Paul Mok, Yen Shan Phoaw, Bryant Nguyen, Timo Tsui

In modern society, the visual is paramount. Kaleidoscopic arrays of advertising assaults us relentlessly. Goddesses in denim and underwear become the succubi of modern consumption establishing visual standards of desire and societal reflection. This visual sensorial overload is pivotal upon the virulent nature of pop culture and its affective capacity. Pop culture has emerged as the contemporary societal religion that inadvertently unites and directs us. Recognizable by its colors and idols, the capacity of pop culture transcends its primary role of a consumerist antagonist into the seed of societal standards.
This era of modern society marshals two forms of infrastructure: physical and digital. The physical realm is firmly rooted in materiality and the haptic while the digital embraces the intangible and ephemeral. With the ubiquitous influence of pop culture and its proliferation through the digital realm, we live in a world saturated in the visual. We live in the virtual make-believe. 
North Korea is an exception to this. The hermit kingdom goes through great lengths to shut out media and pop influences to solidify the Kim dynasty foothold. Although the North Korean people share the same language as South Korea their cultures could not be more different.
Aggressively controlling information whilst painting the leader as a demi god discourages defectors. His power is proudly displayed through monumental works such as the Ryugyong Hotel and various monuments that dot the capital’s urban fabric. However, the hotel is farcical, its rooms remain unoccupied and its façade unfinished. The hotel’s only purpose is to serve as an urban symbol of political authority.
Public attacks on physical infrastructure can be directly countered. Physical demolition of urban fabric and structures can be reforged. Attacks to the digital infrastructure are manifold. They exist in a realm immune to the tangible and free from corporeal intervention. The remnants of such digital attacks thrive in the minds of individuals, infecting the psychological realm of victims. 
Weapon of Mass Entertainment seeks to uproot the fragile power of a totalitarian regime by fighting propaganda with propaganda. Weaponizing South Korean pop culture to seize a national landmark presents a far more potent consequence than mere demonstrations of military might.

A Weaponized Tower Conceived to Disperse Political Oppression through Cultural Infiltration and Relay

WEAPON OF MASS ENTERTAINMENT

The hotel is an urban visual cue of political domination. Public attacks on physical infrastructure can be countered using direct means. Physical demolition of urban fabric and structures can be reforged. Attacks to the digital infrastructure are manifold. They exist in a realm immune to the tangible and free from corporeal intervention. The remnants of such digital attacks thrive in the minds of individuals, infecting the psychological realm of its victims. Weapon of Mass Entertainment seeks to uproot the fragile power of a totalitarian regime by fighting propaganda with propaganda. Weaponizing South Korean pop culture to seize a national landmark presents a far more potent consequence than mere demonstrations of military might.

POWER OF VIRTUAL MAKE-BELIEVE

In modern society, the visual is paramount. Kaleidoscopic arrays of advertising assaults us relentlessly. Gods and goddesses in denim and lacey underwear become the succubi of modern consumption establishing visual standards of desire and societal reflection. This visual sensorial overload is pivotal upon the virulent nature of pop culture and its affective capacity. 

BEACON OF POP CULTURE

Pop culture has emerged as the contemporary societal religion that inadvertantly unites and directs us. Recognizable by its bright colors and faces of idols, the capacity of pop culture transcends its primary role of a consumerist antagonist into the seed of societal standards.