Ninth edition: Urban Cosmologies

Ninth edition: Urban Cosmologies

Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)

May 29, 2023
Ninth edition: Urban Cosmologies
October 22, 2022–March 26, 2023
Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)

The ninth Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) is co-curated by architecture and urban planning scholar Andong Lu, young architect Zigeng Wang and design curator Aric Chen. Continuing the principle of “the city is the exhibition site, the exhibition is the practice”, the primary venue of UABB came to Luohu for the first time. Located in GDH City—Jinpi Fang (Kingway Brewery Industrial Heritage), the exhibition lasts from December 2022 to March 2023, with over two hundred events held during the three-month exhibition period.

The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) has always been a testing ground for exploring new ideas in urban development. Reflecting on the backdrop of the global climate crisis and the ecological shift in the urban development model, the theme of this year’s Biennale is “Urban Cosmologies”, responding to the important role of urban and architectural design during systemic change, reflecting on the relationship between human and nature, and to present complete urban cosmologies. According to the curators, the concept of “Urban Cosmologies” encompasses both spatial symbiosis and temporal rhythm of life; it is both a future-oriented cosmology and a concept rooted in the traditional wisdom of Chinese civilization. Shenzhen should strive to become a city driven by cosmological concept and value, and this Biennale is the most appropriate time and place to show this vision of the city.

This year, the UABB invites 318 exhibitors from 15 countries to participate and present 208 works together. From the macroscopic close relationship between life and environment, diverse ecological epistemology, cross-disciplinary dialogues and experiments, to the continuous innovations and actions of urban and architectural practitioners under the concept of environmental protection, the exhibition focuses on global issues such as urban climate and ecological changes as well as everyday phenomenon like our daily lifestyles as well as the niche topic of urban animals. Combined,  it discusses the new prospects of future cities together.

The main venue of the ninth UABB consists of five main sections, “Urgent Question”, “More-than-Human Adventure”, “Cosmologic Dialogue”, “Co-living Lab” and “Common action”, as well as one “Special section”. The exhibition also features three special pavilions, “UABB Pavilion”, “Hong Kong Pavilion” and “Luohu Pavilion”, as well as the permanent exhibition “Making On Site”. These exhibitions focus on the green and sustainable development of contemporary cities from three aspects: awareness, method, and action, with emphasis on urban response strategies in the context of global climate change and exploring the harmonious coexistence between human and nature. In addition, this year’s UABB also set up six sub-venues, located in Qianhai Cooperation Zone, Nantou City of Nanshan District, International Low Carbon-City in Longgang District, Dailang Fashion Town in Longhua District, Dawanshiju in Pingshan District, and Shenzhen Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone, forming a multi-district linkage with the main exhibition site to create an urban art atmosphere collectively.

The opening ceremony was held in the afternoon of December 10 at GDH City—Jinpi Fang in Luohu District, Shenzhen, with speeches by Hong Kong Chief Executive Li Ka-chiu and Shenzhen Mayor Qin Weizhong. The opening week’s gala performance, “Living Together”, was staged in the main exhibition venue. It introduces the relationship between each exhibition area and the site through integrating the viewing experience with the interaction of dancers. The “Living Together” showcases the city’s inclusive value of bringing together diverse forces and expresses the symbiotic friendship between Shenzhen and Hong Kong accumulated during the nine editions of the UABB, bringing the opening week to a climax.

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Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)
May 29, 2023

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