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2015 Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale (Shenzhen) First Press Conference
2015.03.20

On Mar. 18, 2015, Shenzhen News – Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Organizing Committee held the first press conference at the Press Hall of Shenzhen Municipal Government. XU Chongguang, deputy secretary general of Shenzhen Municipal Government, XUE Feng, secretary general of Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Organizing Committee and deputy director of Shenzhen Planning, Land and Resources Committee, representatives of member units of Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Organizing Committee, representatives of the curatorial team, etc. attended the conference. At the conference, it was formally announced that, the curatorial team of the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) [“Bi-City Biennale (Shenzhen)”] consists of Aaron Betsky, a critic, curator, and the curator of Venice International Architecture Biennale 2008, Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, the founder of Urban Think Tank (UTT) and the directors of the Department of Architecture and the Department of Urban Design at ETH Zürich, and Doreen Heng Liu, an architect and associate professor of the School of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and it would complete the planning of this exhibition by cooperating with ETH Zurich. The exhibition will be opened at Shekou, Shenzhen on Dec. 4, 2015.

Re-living the City, and Remaking Our Cities and Homes
The 2015 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism proposes to exhibit, make, and discuss architecture that reflects the reuse and rethinking of existing buildings, the re-imagination of our cities, and the remaking of our daily lives by design. It will be a biennale of fragments, not abstract plans; of collage, not grids; of tactical urbanism, not top-down strategies.
Re-Living the City says: let’s not rely on grand plans made by others, let’s not just make brand-new cities or buildings. Let’s take what is here, what we already have. Let’s use it, abuse it, rethink it, represent it, and just simply make it better. The 2015 Biennale will present architecture and urbanism as hunting and gathering rather than planning and abstraction. It will collect concrete projects and fragments from around the world that we can use to construct social and economic connections. It will open up the closed structures that surround us, and propose how we can use existing infrastructure to build together.
The curatorial team considers that, we are used to making abstract urban plans, filling them with building blocks, then, expecting inhabitants to outfit their own spaces, the streets between the blocks, and the life in the city. Let’s flip it and reverse it. Let’s see how people are living the city—and re-live it, building upon what exists. Let’s design with and for the everyday. Let’s see order arise out of lived experience. Let’s work in the gray area between inventing and adapting. Through this exhibition, let’s return to the original point of the city, namely the starting point of the city. We need to re-analyze the consequences of fast urbanization, and pay attention to the lost cities, the existing problems and the future orientation, but we don’t complain. Still more, we hope to get moving to remake our humanistic future with the sense of mission.
The Chinese "cheng shi yuan dian" echoes with the English "Re-living the City". The former indicates the thinking about resetting, while the later indicates the action plan after thinking, and represents this Biennale’s an action attempt which is different from the previous, based on the attitude and standpoint of combining vision and practice, and aims at the future of cities.

Draw Materials from the Cases of the Pearl River Delta and Global Cities, and Pay Attention to the Future of Urbanization

In terms of exhibition form, this Bi-City Biennale (Shenzhen) will gather actual projects and fragments from around the world in the original forms of “hunting and gathering” to exhibit buildings and cities, and bring forward how to construct the future together with the existing infrastructure.
The work on display in the Bi-City Biennale will range in scale from proposals for the ways in which techniques can transform large urban and regional areas, to menus for specific actions and construction proposals—including streets, parks, buildings, and public spaces—and insertions in small spaces.
The curatorial team said that, this exhibition will focus on site-specific installations, interactive videos, and other methods of presenting architecture and urbanism at work and in reality, pay more attention to the sense of participation and interaction, and thus become a platform for the discussion and communication of the public from a larger scope. The exhibition plan is divided into five parts:

Collage City 3D

The Pearl River Delta, which has ever been a world factory, is facing the global problems such as increasingly reduced natural resources and lands, constantly deteriorated environment and climate, industrial transformation, food safety and aging, etc., as well as the still high-speed urbanization in the era of Internet. We shall attempt to discuss a pertinent development mode responding to the future, and create an unprecedented and brand-new future city model with Chinese specific characteristics.

Maker Maker

Maker Maker aims to bring the best experiments in making that combine digital and hand-crafting together in one place.

Pearl River Delta 2.0: Balance is More

The Pearl River Delta, which has ever been a world factory, is facing the global problems such as increasingly reduced natural resources and lands, constantly deteriorated environment and climate, industrial transformation, food safety and aging, etc., as well as the still high-speed urbanization in the era of Internet. We shall attempt to discuss a pertinent development mode responding to the future, and create an unprecedented and brand-new future city model with Chinese specific characteristics.

Social City

Digital technology and globalization have greatly changed city life. The challenge of our times is to connect big data analytics to the shared emotional and practical needs and desires of a multiformity of contemporary city dwellers. We tap into the powerful diversity of city life as a catalyst for concrete responsive urban design research, and the research on this aspect will be displayed as interactive design at the website of the Biennale.

Radical Urbanism

This part shows profound consideration about and expectation on informal city life. In the present world, many cities have plentiful informal urbanism, and the life wisdom exhibited by informal urbanism is possibly more radical than that of the city designers. The curatorial team will look for, gather and exhibit the existing city cases and test prototypes from across the world, these projects adopt ethical stances, calling variously for environmental and social justice, diversity, equity, and opportunity..
Meanwhile, this exhibition will continue the education function of last UABB School, and take “Educational Events / Learning the City” as important parts of the Biennale. These activities will gather university students and scholars from around the world, promote cross-discipline cooperation, and connect the personnel who love art, humanities, science, and design through many forms of interactive education plan. Meanwhile, the Biennale Organizing Committee Office will launch Biennale information system, so that the public could understand the exhibition more conveniently and deeply from multiple channels.

Bi-City Biennale Having Become a Compound Platform for Solving Problems
Since being held in 2005, Bi-City Biennale has had a history of completely ten years, and become the most influential Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture in the Eastern Hemisphere. Its mission is to always hammer at discussing the city problems in the general background of China and the world’s fast urbanization, to convert the simplex exhibition into a compound platform for solving problems, activating development, and integrating resources initiatively, and thus to play an active role in pushing forward leap-forward development of cities.
Firstly, Bi-City Biennale is a conscious platform for settlement of urban problems. On the global intelligent platform, it communicates on the challenges faced in urban development, and has evocation on solving global urbanization problems.
Secondly, Bi-City Biennale is a platform for creating the future of cities. From the very beginning, Bi-City Biennale has started survey on and criticism against the reality, but its fundamental objective is to seek the road for future development. Over the past decade, many discussions, imaginations and follow-up practices about ideal urban development model have occurred on this platform, and these sparkles of thoughts will provide certain reference for future urban development.
Meanwhile, UABB is an urban vitality catalysis platform which takes cities as exhibition site. Both the previous five exhibitions already completed and the sixth exhibition being planned are not limited to fixed exhibition site, but instead, they give an eye to every urban region needing more energy, in order to attract architects, artists, researchers and common people, drive and guide the recovery and development of surrounding regions through activation of exhibition site.
In order to consolidate and continue the achievements of urban “activation” advocated continuously at the last UABB (Shenzhen), the 2015 UABB (Shenzhen) will still select Shekou as its main exhibition venue, and concretely, the areas where No. 8 Warehouse and former Dacheng Flour Factory located.
We warmly expect global excellent architects, designers, scholars, as well as people paying attention to urban problems and fans of UABB to gather together in Shenzhen, and we will continuously contribute an unusually brilliant urban cultural carnival for you. We believe that, 2015 UABB will bring us thoughts, happiness and hope continuously.

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