Inside North Korea: Oliver Wainwright on the colourful design aesthetic of Pyongyang

Architecture and design critic, Oliver Wainwright, takes us through some incredible images of one of the most secretive countries in the world.
Architecture and design critic, Oliver Wainwright, takes us through some incredible images of one of the most secretive countries in the world. (Oliver Wainwright)
Listen17:18

For many, it's likely difficult to imagine Pyongyang, North Korea. The city was destroyed in the Korean War and rebuilt entirely starting in 1953, with the goal of being "national in form and socialist in content."

That phrase may not conjure up the most aesthetically pleasing images, but when Oliver Wainwright, the architecture and design critic for The Guardian, took a trip to Pyongyang a few years ago, what he found there surprised him. Wainwright took some incredible photos while he was there and published nearly 200 of them in a new book, called Inside North Korea.

Speaking with q guest host Ali Hassan, Wainwright takes us through those images and discusses what we can learn about the past, present and future of one of the most secretive countries in the world from the design of its capital.

Oliver Wainwright's book Inside North Korea features more than 200 photos, which were all taken by him during his visit to Pyongyang in 2015. (David Levene, Taschen)
(Oliver Wainwright/Taschen)
(Oliver Wainwright/Taschen)
(Oliver Wainwright/Taschen)
(Oliver Wainwright/Taschen)
(Oliver Wainwright/Taschen)

Listen to the full conversation with Oliver Wainwright above. 

Produced by Cora Nijhawan

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