Bernard Tschumi’s winning entry in the international design competition for the redevelopment of the Parc de la Villette in 1983 sent shock waves across the modern architecture landscape in the late 20th century. Carried out to revitalize the 19 arrondissement of Paris, the project was completed in 1987. It is interesting to note that while Tschumi was reifying his design concept and preparing to submit his proposal, he sought out the opinions of the deconstructivist philosopher Jacques Derrida. The tendency, at the time classified as “deconstructivism,” was to deviate from the standardized “relationship” and emancipate the elements forming urban architecture and city planning in order to find new relations.
In his book Architecture & Disjunction, Tschumi recognized that space and programs are mutually exclusive and independent and that the causality between the two is a mere ideological consequence. The real relationship of these elements, he pointed out, is random and fluid. Although the follies taking the form of points in the Parc de la Villette were taken from the Russian constructivists, it is the signifiant and not the signifié within the domain of semiotics. Tschumi aptly utilized the dualistic meaning of the homophone “folly,” meaning whimsical structure, and “folie,” meaning madness, to go beyond the historical context of urban cities. In this sense, the modern definition of folly is an unstructured mechanism that transcends the structured urban space in which it is situated. Accordingly, Gwangju perceives follies as a new and creative spatial alternative that is able to overcome the contextual limitations of existing urban cities and facilitate greater communication with the public.
The core concept of Gwangju Folly III is “The Critique of Everyday Life,” which seeks to pursue a new type of popularity, overcome the contextual limitations of cities and facilitate the specifically designated objectives of Gwangju Folly I & II. As already stated in Henri Lefebvre’s theory of The Production of Space, everyday life is an intersection of illusion and truth. In light of this, the curatorial team of the Gwangju Folly III focused on the social process and the urban experience in terms of the production of space and has employed universal themes from daily elements in urban life experiences encountered during travel: Taste and Beauty. Gwangju Folly III consists of 5 follies : View Folly, Gwangju Dutch Folly, Cook Folly, and Fun Pun Folly and Mini Folly. It is hoped that each one of them will become successful urban devices for the revitalization and future of Gwangju as well as popular photo zones favoured by citizens.
Gwangju Folly Ⅲ attempts to explore the dailiness of urban life in terms of Taste and Beauty based on the principles of popularity, participation and unexpectedness. The project consists of four follies with additional mini follies. This year, the follies do not exist independently as they did in previous years. Instead, they are figuratively connected allowing different combinations and aspects of the follies to be integrated. The Gwangju Folly Ⅲ Project, thus, attempts to create an unconventional and participatory project where dailiness meets non-dailiness.