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  • Architecture of “Imminent Commons” to be revealed in Seoul

  • Press Releases SMG 1482
    • – A total 16,200 participants from 50 cities, 40 universities and 120 organizations to attend Korea’s first global academic forum and exhibition about “Urbanism” and “Architecture”
    • – 39 projects featured “nine commons” to be showcased as the “Thematic Exhibition,” and public projects from 50 cities including New York, London and Pyeongyang to be presented as the “Cities Exhibition”
    • – Diverse experimental programs to be carried out at industrial sites including Sewoon Shopping Center and other locations in Seoul

    SEOUL, South Korea, August 24, 2017 – The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 (The Seoul Biennale), a global event that discuss creative ways to address urban problems, will be held from September 2 to November 5, 2017 in several historical and industrial sites across Seoul. This is the first global academic forum and exhibition about “Urbanism” and “Architecture” to be held in Korea.

    A total of 16,200 participants from 50 cities including New York, London and Shanghai; 40 universities including MIT and Keio University; and 120 organizations including the Royal College of Arts are expected to attend the Seoul Biennale.

    The Seoul Biennale is co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the Seoul Design Foundation, and co-directed by Professor Hyung-min Bae of the University of Seoul and Alejandro Zaera-Polo of Princeton University.

    “Imminent Commons” is the theme for the first Seoul Biennale, which the SMG proposed as a way to resolve common issues the world cities are facing – such as environmental, architectural and sociocultural problems. The Seoul Biennale will serve as a platform to discuss what and how cities share with other cities through over 300 exhibitions and experimental programs.

    One of the eye-catching exhibitions is “Pyeongyang Exhibition,” where North Korea’s capital city’s inside of a typical apartment is recreated into a model house to show the daily activities of North Korean citizens from various angles. Other exhibitions include the “Common Housing Map” in San Francisco which is a project to combat increasing rent costs, and the “Dream Madrid Project” in Madrid, Spain which aims become a zero carbon emission city.

    “Thematic Exhibition” with 39 projects featured with “Nine Commons” & “Cities Exhibition” of 50 cities’ public projects

    The Seoul Biennale offers two main exhibitions, “Thematic Exhibition” and “Cities Exhibition”; and an onsite program ”Live Projects” which will take place in Seoul’s major historical and industrial sites. All programs are free except for the main exhibitions. (Main exhibition ticket price: KRW 9,000)

    “Thematic Exhibition” will showcase 39 projects that present solutions for urban problems through “Nine Commons” such as technology, policy, lifestyle, and design, in Donuimun Museum Village.

    ※ Nine Commons
    – Common resources (4): Air, Water, Fire & Earth
    – Common actions (5): making, detecting, moving, rewriting & communicating

    9,770 square meters of Donuimun Museum Village is a historical culture village that has been created through urban restoration. It contains remodeled Hanok, traditional Korean houses, and about 30 buildings from the Japanese colonial era to the 1980s. It is located between Gyeonghuigung Palace and Gangbuk Samsung Hospital, and will be revealed to the public for the first time in September along with the Seoul Biennale.

    The main program of the “Thematic Exhibition” is “Seoul on Air”: Augmented Reality Environment for city life” which attaches sensors onto Seoul’s public transportation and measures Seoul’s microclimate via real-time and shows it through augmented reality. There is also “Seoul’s Scent Map” which categorizes various scents collected from different places in Seoul to understand space and place from an olfactory perspective.

    “Cities Exhibition”introduces public projects to resolve urban issues through commons from cities around the world. It will open in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) which will serve as a platform to compare and contrast diverse common values across global cities. There will be projects from about 50 cities including New York, London, Vienna, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Pyeongyang showcased in the exhibition.

    In the “Cities Exhibition”, Seoul will present four projects in total (Cutting Seoul, Seongbuk Art Commons, Saving Seoul Neighborhoods and more). San Francisco will present a “Common Housing Map” project where it enhanced the way of common housing based on the commune living style among hippies in 1960-70s to resolve skyrocketing rent fees and lack of housing. Spain Madrid introduces “Dream Madrid” project which aims to modify traffic infrastructure to become a zero carbon emission city by 2025. It uses technology and big data to modify traffic system as a way to resolve air quality and pollution issues.

    In particular, “Pyeongyang Exhibition” will showcase a model house of Pyeongyang apartment about 36m2 in size based on the theme “Changes in Pyeongyang’s city space and housing culture.” Consultations were sought from domestic North Korea experts including the Ministry of Unification, and National Intelligent Service Korea. The entrance, living room, kitchen, personal room, bathrooms are constructed as they are and the place is furnished with furniture, wallpaper, and appliances from North Korea to recreate an actual Pyeongyang apartment.

    Various experiments at industrial sites such as Sewoon Shopping Center, Changsindong Sewing Workshop; unique menu at Biennale Restaurant and Café

    “Live Projects” is a project that offers various experiments throughout Seoul. It is carried out into three projects: 1) Production City (Urban manufacturing) at Sewoon Shopping Center, Changsin-dong and Gwangjang Market, 2) Urban Foodshed (water and food) at Donuimun Museum Village, and 3) Walking the Commons (walking environment) at DDP and the area from Euljiro to Cheonggyecheon.

    During the Seoul Biennale, the Biennale Café located in Donuimun Museum Village offers a unique menu such as bakery goods made from using solar power and drinks made using honey from urban bee keeping. Also, the walk between Dongdaemun and Sewoon Shopping Center will be enjoyable as various activities using cutting-edge technology will be offered.

    Plenty of citizen participation programs – Best five recommendations for children and family participants

    During the Seoul Biennale, there will be various citizen participation programs including film viewing, tour, forum and more. The SMG recommends the Best Five programs to enjoy for children and family participants.

    ① Biennale City Workshop for Children, ‘City Explorers’– Children can explore the city using a map. They can hunt for treasure by using alphabets, colors, and shapes to view neighborhoods through a new perspective.

    ② Biennale Restaurant, Theme Dinner – A program held every Saturday where various discussions are held over dinner. It is free and requires an early reservation. Menu items include Middle-Eastern and Greek food as well as dishes using Korean herbs, wild beans, native ingredients, and vegetable raised by city farmers. Chefs will change based on the theme.

    ③ Common City Seoul Tour – Sunday tours offer a general summary of the Seoul Biennale while Saturday tours offer an in-depth explanation. Sunday tour visit sites include Donuimun Museum Village, Dilkusha, Mapo Culture Storage Site, Sewoon Shopping Center, and Seoul Upcycling Plaza among others. Saturday tour visit sites include Seongbuk Dowon area, Seoullo 7017, French Embassy and more. To join the tour, reservations must be made two days in advance through the ‘Seoul Biennale’ official website.

    ④ Walking Playground – You can enjoy ‘Smart Walking City’ programs (music city, brainwave walks) from Live Projects all in one day. It is open between 1 to 5 pm every Sunday. Visit the ‘Smart Walking City’ container located at DDP Design Street to receive a map and a program guidebook.

    ⑤ Bike around Biennale – Riding “Ttareungi,” Seoul Public Bicycle – Ttareungi stations will be set up near four sites (Donuimun Museum Village, DDP, Sewoon Shopping Center, and Seoullo7017) for two days between October 28 and 29. Riding a Ttareungi will make transportation between Biennale sites easier.

    For more details on Seoul Biennale, visit the official website (http://www.seoulbiennale.org) or call the main office at (☎02-2096-0108) for inquiries.