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Imagining 'the Future,' North Korean Architect Designs the '60s

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Though the North Korean government didn't formally cut itself off from the outside world until the '70s (when relations deteriorated between an industrializing China, spurred by the death of Mao Zedong in '76), the official policy of isolation actually began in the '50s, when the first president implemented the country's infamous Juche ("self reliance") policy, which meant to isolate and control a populace under the guise of "inspiring in them an ardent love for their native place and their motherland." And so it continues into 2014. The country has remained so isolated from the Western world for so many decades, that when a tourism company with rare and limited access into the country recently asked a North Korean architect to imagine the future of design, the architect's renderings looked like something straight out of the Jet Age of the '50s and '60s—like set pieces from The Jetsons, a future-based cartoon that aired in 1962.

The architect was asked to design something "aimed for sustainability," Co.Exist writes, though the architect didn't have a feel for what the technology and techniques were like. The result? Hovercraft hotel rooms, conical mountain villas, monorails, and a bedroom (↑) that looks like a pink version of Dick Clark's Flintstones-esque abode. One building even looks like a physically-improbably Frank Lloyd Wright design (↓). Have a look:

· What The Future Looks Like To North Koreans Who Have Never Left [Co.Exist]
· All North Korea coverage [Curbed National]
· All Metropolis 2.0 posts [Curbed National]