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Art&Culture
Dreaming of Regenerating the Original City Center: D&Department
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승인 2020.07.16  10:31:09
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▲ Photo= D&Department

On June 7th, the D&Department Project (CEO Nagaoka Genmei) announced that it will pre-open the Jeju store following the Seoul branch in Itaewon that opened in 2013. The official opening is July, but it announced the Pre-Open, which will start operating the store and the restaurant from May 23.

▲ Photo= D&Department

D&Department Project is a store-based body founded by designer Nagaoka Genmei in 2000. The key to all of its activities is “long-life design,” which means designs with longevity, universal designs that are not influenced by trends or times. Also, instead of constantly purchasing and consuming the latest modes, it is about consciously perceiving that designs that have been proven by time are the good ones, mending them to use them for a lasting period. The D&Department Project has discovered and introduced such“long-life designs” in 10 locations around the world.

D&Department’s partner in Jeju is Arario, which has been bringing art culture to everyday life through bus terminals, department stores, galleries, and art museums. In 2014, Arario opened two art galleries that preserved the old exteriors to revitalize the old city center: one at what used to be Tap-dong Cinema, a major cultural facility in Tap-dong, Jeju-si, and the other at a motel near Dongmun Market. The Jeju branch of D&Department was also established within the process of Arario’s Tap-dong Regeneration Project.

While looking for a project partner, Arario met with MILLIMETER MILLIGRAM, which led to the idea of setting up a base in Jeju. They started planning in April 2018, which culminated in the birth of D&Department Jeju by Arario.

The partner of D&Department Jeju, the first of its stores to include a lodging facility, is Arario, whose philosophy is to spread art and culture in everyday life through bus terminals, department stores, galleries, and museums.

▲ d restaurant , Photo= D&Department

The store will engage in four principal activities to introduce Jeju’s unique locality. On the 1st floor, d Restaurant will reinterpret and promote Jeju’s food culture using seasonal local ingredients.

The D&Department store on the second floor will introduce products and foods created with Jeju’s local sensibilities, as well as household goods and furniture selected as “long-life designs.” It will also showcase a new form of creative residence called “d news,” which will operate a pop-up store from the inspirations and exchanges that producers experience while staying in Jeju.

▲ d room, Photo= D&Department

Lastly, the 3rd floor will be filled with “d room,” which are 13 guest rooms that exhibit long-life designs, including décor items, used furniture, contemporary art, and Jeju specialty products.

The store is located in Tap-dong, a 15-minute drive from Jeju Airport. Tap-dong used to be the busiest downtown in Jeju in the 1990s, but development stopped when the dynamics moved to the new city center in the south and has now become a somewhat secluded area. The three-story building that used to be a bakery, restaurant, office, and warehouse right next to the Arario Museum was renovated to the best of its old appearance.

Nagasaka Jo of Schemata Architecture Office, who discovers unique values in existing buildings, was in charge of the design.

In 2014, an art gallery was opened by preserving as much as possible and renovating Tap-dong Cinema, a major cultural facility in the district, and a motel near Dongmun Market. For over 40 years, Chairman Kim Chang-il has been attracting the attention and love of many residents by exhibiting a collection of contemporary art and trying to revitalize the old city center through those spaces.

▲ Photo= D&Department

Based on such a background of highlighting Jeju’s distinct character and locality, Arario is now entering the second round following its hiatus.

Now the project to rejuvenate Tap-dong centers around D&Department Jeju by Arario, instead of an art gallery. It is highly anticipated to bring another breath of fresh air to the original city center.

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