August 21, 2019 - Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism - 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism: Collective City
e-flux Architecture
August 21, 2019
August 21, 2019

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Courtesy Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Collective City
September 7–November 10, 2019
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2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Collective City
September 7–November 10, 2019
Facebook / Instagram

The 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (SBAU) will open this September as, the main exhibition will be hosted in Dongdaemun Design Plaza. In its second edition the biennale is exploring the theme of Collective City.

The Seoul Biennale will provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas, discussions and to provoke change in the way we engage with and develop our cities. SBAU aims to reclaim the agency of architecture and redefine cities, exploring models of resistance and collectivity to reimagine how a citizenry can engage with the city. At a time when society and the urban fabric around them, is increasingly unequal and segregated, the Biennale asks for critical reflection on how our cities continue to develop and what tools and strategies should be deployed to transform them into collective spaces.

SBAU will unpack, expose and celebrate a diverse range of knowledge, expertise and experiences from cities around the world through the four sites: thematic exhibition, Cities exhibition, Global Studios and On-site Projects.


Global Studios
Curator: Sanki Choe
Venue: Sewoon Plaza Sewoon Hall

The Global Studios exhibition and symposium plays a vital role in expanding the boundary of the biennale theme and bringing meaningful discourse, content, by engaging talented students and scholars from renowned Korean and international institutions around the world.

The theme calls for a wide range of research and design proposals that are both materially and socially grounded, bridging the academic and professional interests of the disciplines of architecture and urbanism.

The works produced by the studios convey a strong physical presence with a rigorous understanding of the socio-economic drivers that give form to our built environment. The exhibition functions as a research platform that supports varied interpretations and approaches to collective actions, exploring the possible contribution to urban vitality and potentially transformative impact on society.

Collective space is initiated, activated and evolves through creative strategies that interact across, intrude into, manipulate and exchange social boundaries. The patterns of such collective actions can be understood and learned from referring to various historic and contemporary precedent models such as: marketplaces, public streets, housing, and other structures or infrastructures. The city also benefits from innovative governance models and active collective processes that balance out the rules and social agreements that contribute to reshaping the city.

Global Studios Curator: Sanki Choe
Sanki Choe is a Professor and Director of Architecture Program at University of Seoul. He is a licensed architect leading SCA Design Lab and has practiced in New York, Cambridge, and Seoul. He graduated from Harvard and Yonsei University, taught at Northeastern University, and conducted research at UC Berkeley. He was awarded with the prestigious Seoul Architecture Prize and appointed as Public Architect by the Metropolitan Government of Seoul.


Live Projects: Collective City Market
Curator: Youngchul Jang
Venue: Seoul Museum of History, Sewoon Plaza, Daelim Plaza

The markets in Seoul have aggregated as the city developed and took shape, emerging from a space of exchange. As the density of the market increased in complexity and function, the markets merged with the form of the surrounding city, currently comprising a large proportion of central Seoul today.

As we witness the rapid and radical expansion and development of the modern city, the market has maintained a consistent presence and typology in many cities across the globe, serving as important socioeconomic infrastructure for our dense urban cores.

The live projects exhibition explores the challenges currently facing our cities from this important and universally recognizable urban form.

While Seoul is a global and international city, it grapples with issues of social isolation and fragmentation that is reinforced through physical separation and boundaries. The exhibition explores urban alternatives in Korea that can strategically and innovatively address these contradictory concerns of the contemporary condition. Situated within the heart of the city itself it is actively engaged with the local citizens of Seoul, tackling the most pertinent questions of the city.

The marketplace serves as an example and case study of how questions of the collective have evolved and the sociopolitical, economic and cultural impact of these market models. These spaces also offer the opportunity to study and understand how architecture and urbanism can make a significant contribution to these traditional spaces of trade and exchange and for them to continue to be enjoyed by everyone. Public engagement in these spaces and the exhibition is central to the project.

Live Projects Curator: Youngchul Jang
Youngchul Jang, AIA, received his Master of Architecture from University of California, Berkeley after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Hongik University in Korea. WISE Architecture, led by Youngchul Jang and Sookhee Chun, has completed several meaningful projects focusing on ordinary materiality to create extra-ordinary architecture. They have also participated in many architectural cross over activities such as planning and executing public art projects. They won Korean Young Architects Awards in 2011 and The Seoul City Architectural Prize and Korea Design Award 2015 with “Dialogue in the Dark, Bukchon.”

seoulbiennale [​at​] / info [​at​] / T +82 2 2096 0108

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
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Collective City
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