io9 spoke to Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours who have been bringing travellers to North Korea since 1993. Bonner commissioned an architect to create a series of designs imagining how a future North Korea might accommodate a huge influx of tourists:

Many buildings in North Korea have what we in the West would call a retro-futuristic feel, so something that we have seen before, except this time we were pushing the eco side of it all.

The project was commissioned in-house – an experiment between Koryo Tours and the North Korean architects, and looking at the future of sustainable tourism. When we started taking the first tours to North Korea in 1993, only a small handful of people were visiting, but now we take over 2,000 a year (more than half of all the foreigners who visit). It still remains the least-visited country in the world, but also one of the most interesting experiences possible.

Shape of things to come

How an architect who has never left North Korea imagines the future

“You only need to walk around Pyongyang to see buildings that express originality within the limitations of what is allowed there, and what is actually achievable in terms of the available technology (for example, no glass-curtain walls, and most buildings still built with concrete and reinforcement bars).” — Nick Bonner, Koryo Tours

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