New Mexico Strata Research center designed by Yunin Jeung
Jeung’s design for a geological museum built into an abandoned mine allows visitors to explore the earth’s layers firsthand. COURTESY YUNIN JEUNG

YunIn Jeung Fuses Formal Expression and Social Purpose

A member of the 2023 Metropolis Future100, Jeung draws on his multicultural upbringing to tell a story through architecture.

The work of Louisiana Tech University undergraduate YunIn Jeung showcases a rare combination of unrestrained creative exploration and disciplined technical skill, stemming from his equal passions for scientific and imaginative thinking. Jeung first started studying to be a doctor, like his father, but he found the medical world creatively stifling. Architecture has nurtured both sides of his personality. 

a 3D-printed model of the Songdo National Writing Museum
To build a 3D-printed scale model of the museum, Jeung divided the building’s galleries and functional spaces into seven volumes that interlock with one another, fitting together like a puzzle. COURTESY YUNIN JEUNG

YunIn Jeung’s Global Upbringing Yields Out-of-the-Box Insights

Armed with his systematic but innovative approach, Jeung pursues outside-the-box projects that also happen to make good sense. Another gift is an ability to open his mind to new creative opportunities and points of view, which comes largely from a youth growing up all over the world, starting outside Busan, South Korea, and continuing to Australia, the U.K., Ghana, and Niger. 

“I feel like living in different cultures and meeting different people allowed me to be a more flexible thinker and respond to a new environment more quickly,” he notes. 

Jeung’s design for the New Mexico Strata Research Center on top of an abandoned mine unlocks the potential of the museum not just to tell the story of the site’s geological formations but to introduce views into those formations themselves. For the Songdo National Writing Museum, exhibiting the development of Korean writing from ancient forms to the present day, jagged forms are inspired by the shared aspects of various types of letters, while the circulation expresses stylistic changes as you move horizontally through the building and changes over time as you move up through a dramatic central atrium. 

Such projects also help tell a story and teach lessons through architecture, fulfilling another personal goal: to have social impact. It’s an ambition he developed early, appreciating his father’s efforts to heal patients in need around the world. “Buildings are for people. They must impact people in very profound ways,” says Jeung. 

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