The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.

But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?

Koryo Tours, a company that specializes in tours to curmudgeonly North Korea, found the answer to that question recently when it commissioned a local architect to draw a North Korea of the future that includes large tourist facilities. Here’s what he came up with.

 ▼ A flying house for tourist, so they can sightsee on the go.


 ▼ These cone-shaped lodgings include rooftop helipads and solar paneling.  The walls are used to support a hanging garden, while tube-shaped passageways provide building-to-building access.


 ▼ Targeted at the group-travel market, these mansions provide a place to stay while viewing the waterfalls and mountains of the Kumgang Tourist Region.


 ▼ The interior


 ▼A guesthouse based on a traditional style from the Korean Peninsula


 ▼ A suspension bridge based on the concept of walking in the clouds.


 ▼A slightly boudoir-esque hotel design


 ▼A viewing platform


 ▼ A farm that incorporates solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric facilities with silkworm production.


At first, I was a bit inclined to snicker at the retro-futuristic look of these, but on further reflection, you have to give the guy credit for coming up with large-scale incorporation of green energy, architecture incorporating plant life, and hovercraft more or less on his own.

According to the architect, the designs were based on the concept that “we are all one village and we have to get along harmoniously.” Sure enough, the designs include very little private space, with almost everything open to the view of others. Hard to do anything inharmonious when you are always being watched, Mr. North Korean Architect.

And there I go with the snickering again.

Source and images: Huffington Post; h/t Itai News