UABB2017, the Bi-City Biennale in Shenzhen

Liu Xiadou, Meng Yan, Urbanus Architecture & Design Inc., Hou Hanru,

Shenzhen, China,

Exhibitions, Land Art,

The seventh edition of UABB is the only biennial in the world dedicated to urbanism and urbanisation.

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UABB2017, the Bi-City Biennale in Shenzhen The seventh edition of UABB is the only biennial in the world dedicated to urbanism and urbanisation. Since 2013, it has been expanded from Shenzhen to also embrace Hong Kong, leading to the name Bi-City Biennale, a platform focused on discovering rather than just “flaunting” accomplishments.

Today was the opening of the seventh Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) 2017, “Cities, Grow in Difference”, jointly curated by Hou Hanru and the founding partners and directors of URBANUS, Liu Xiadou and Meng Yan. 
Growing in difference means the hybrid growth of culture, society and space. Shenzhen is the perfect symbiosis of top-down rational planning and bottom-up spontaneous growth, which urban villages - these new clusters - reflect in terms of city and village, reality and history, order and chaos, mobility and creativity. So, Nantou Old Town in Shenzhen, as the main biennial venue, is the heterogeneous symbiosis of a historical town and contemporary urban village.
The theme and content of the exhibition also embraces alternative experiences of urbanisation and avant-garde experimentation in a global context, with architects from all over the world. UABB starts from familiar topics in everyday life to conduct in-depth exploration and reflection on the quality of life in urban villages, the outcome of the collision and fusion of rapid urbanisation and the dual, urban-rural structure in the planned economic period in China. These urban villages have been preserved and have proven to be highly potent urban laboratories and bases for breeding alternative lifestyles, where newcomers from the country are beginning to settle.
“Cities, Grow in Difference” showcases local and global examples of urban development and of the possible responses to greater interaction between urbanism, architecture, art, culture and research and gives the public shows and initiatives to involve the citizens themselves
The biennial is running from 15 December to 15 March 2018 and we'll be looking into the themes more closely with some of the people involved, like Chang Yung Ho, the “father of Chinese architecture” and the architecture photographer, Zhang Chao.

Christiane Bürklein

Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture – UABB2017
from 15 December 2017 to 15 March 2018
Shenzhen. Hong Kong, China
Images: Courtesy of UABB2017
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