Globalisation & modern house form with particular reference to South Korea
This thesis describes the effects of globalisation on the modern Korean house form. It
is argued that house form is determined by complex socio-cultural interactions and
has evolved across cultures as, for example, the bungalow. The research methods
included a pilot study, a survey of Korean inhabitants and interviews of specialists.
The pilot study was conducted in five different areas with 33 Korean respondents who
were living abroad. The inhabitants' survey involved 131 respondents who were
living in Korea, using questionnaires and interviews. The specialists' interviews
involved 32 specialists in historical and contemporary house form in Korea.
The major findings from these studies are:
1) Korean people understand globalisation as a process of interaction with other
countries which has introduced new forms of transport, communication, technology
2) Korean house form has been changed by internal developments and external
influences through processes of modernisation and globalisation. Western influences
especially affect cultural and social values in Korea whilst the demands of Korean
people are for comfortable and high quality modem living. Government housing
policy focuses on design and building standards and `ecology friendly' housing.
3) There has been a process of change for Korean house form. It first gradually and then
speedily changed over time under more and more western and global influences. This
process can be seen in different new developments in housing types such as Gae-
Ryang Han-Ok, Mun-Wha house and Yeong-Dan house in the beginning of
interaction with other countries for modernisation before the 1950s, apartment and
quasi-houses in the 1960s, and Jeonwon-chutaek (rural style house), wooden house,
luxury villas, Office-tel (office with residential facilities), one room apartment,
Jusang boghab apartment (mixed with commercial and residential areas), Silver Town
house (complex for elderly people) and 3 Sae-dae Dong-geo apartment (3 generations
living together)in recent years.
4) There are several outcomes of changes as follows:
i) Domestic living patterns have been changed. Families are smaller and it has
become more usual for people to live alone. People pursue individual rather than
communal family activities, and there is more concern for personal hygiene.
Overall, people are interested in gaining higher standards of living.
ii) Interior design has changed, reflecting altered living patterns. Families now have
separate rooms to accommodate individual interests. Toilets and bathrooms are
situated indoors, and there are often multiple bathrooms. Although parents' and
children's spaces are still separated, as is the tradition, the separatenessh as been
redesigned to fit in with western house forms.
iii) House types have changed as mentioned in above 3. These are greatly influenced
by global designs and are built to accommodate the new living patterns.
The changes in house form in South Korea are very similar to changes in house form
across the world in the process of globalisation. This is seen as a result of the high
technology information age, which provides the ideas and blueprints for house form,
coupled with rapid industrialisation in Korea, which has provided a growing economy
to finance domestic modernisation.