Squid game isn’t just Netflix’s largest non-English speaking show in the world – it’s the most watched show on the network (and if you haven’t seen it yet, beware: minor spoilers ahead). Director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s hugely popular dystopian series follows a group of 456 indebted people who willfully compete to win 45.6 billion won (roughly $ 38 million) in prizes, even knowing that if they lose, they die. . The South Korean series is a dramatic take on mass societal competition as a high-stakes game in which there is only one winner, and therefore only one survivor.
A new twist on the “battle royale” genre (named after the Japanese film of the same name), Squid game uses a collection of candy-colored sets to illustrate an essential contrast between childhood innocence and disillusioned depravity. The architecture plays a key role in creating an oppressive and terrifying vibe, and each set introduces a new emotion or psychological trigger that contestants must contend with amid all the chaotic violence.
Six classic children’s games, including tug of war and a ‘red light, green light’ version featuring a terrifying oversized animatronic doll, take place in eerie battle arenas seemingly symbolizing stages of human life. The first looks like the kind of outdoor setting you could play in as a kid, with a cheerful blue sky above you. The second is a cartoonish playground and the third features giant yellow platforms suspended high in the air with a dark background. The fourth features a decor inspired by a traditional Korean village with alleys and houses, and the fifth places each participant in a circus-like environment with a glass bridge and flashing lights. Walk on the wrong section and the glass will shatter, plunging the competitors into an abyss.
In an interview with Netflix, director Hwang explained that he tried to simulate the atmosphere of real playgrounds for some of those sets, sand and all, with oversized equipment that brings adult competitors down to their size. of childhood. “Death games usually take place in terrifying and horrific places,” Hwang says, so instead he and art director Chae Kyoung-Sun tried to make the sets “cute and sweet, like a place to trigger. nostalgia”.
Most spectacular of all are the disorienting labyrinthine stairs that competitors must climb to access each gaming arena. Hwang notes that he was inspired by the lithograph by Dutch artist MC Escher titled “Relativity,” but if you are an architecture enthusiast, you will probably notice an even more striking similarity. The bright colors, staircases and stepped walls look almost exactly like a real-world building by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill called La Muralla Roja. Located in Calpe, Spain, the development completed in 1973 is painted red on the outside with boldly shaped internal areas of blue and purple, all against a backdrop of ocean views. Bofill’s creation, which includes swimming pools and solariums as well as 50 apartments (some of which can be rented on Airbnb), is a far cry from the brutalist architecture that usually inspires dystopian movies and series.
Competitors sleep in a giant gymnasium where bunk beds are stacked against the wall in terraced configurations, reminiscent of the design of a Roman Colosseum, especially seen from the competitors’ perspective, making it both spectators and participants. at the show. But bunk beds also refer to goods in a warehouse, depersonalizing competitors and the figurative escalation we all need to take to be successful in modern society. Another set, a pristine white waiting room, evokes the curved, totally colorless, spaceship-like works of Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, such as the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Viewers have all kinds of personal interpretations of what exactly Squid game criticism: capitalism, communism, the stereotypical competitiveness of contemporary Asian society, and the fact that most of us struggle with the challenges of everyday life and are left behind while a handful of winners ‘s’ improve ”. Whatever your take out, this is a series you won’t soon forget.
The post The Architecture of the Squid Game Symbolizes the Loss of Childhood Innocence first appeared on Dornob.