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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2019 - Collective City (also resilient and walkable)

Seoul is infinitely more walkable and pedestrian friendly than a few decades ago, but during the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, you can even hop from one World capital to the other* without leaving its center. For this second edition, two main venues have been added to the Biennale's horizontal axis, Seoul HOUR and the Seoul Museum of History joining the DDP, Sewoon Sangga, and Donuimun Museum Village.

Six months after the pre-biennale symposium and the Seoul HOUR inauguration (see "Seoul Hall of Urbanism and Architecture, Seoul Biennale 2019 Symposium"), the usual suspects showed up on opening day at Dongdaemun Design Plaza:

"Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism opening ceremony @ DDP Seoul.
Park Won-soon, Dominique Perrault, Seung Hyosang, Francisco Sanin" (@theseoulvillage - 20190907 -
The whole Barnum was supposed to move a few hours later to Donuimun Museum Village, but a last minute guest star crashed the party: because of Typhoon Lingling, all opening day festivities were eventually held in Zaha's landmark. Still, I decided to visit the Cities Exhibition on the same day, even as Lingling kept clearing her throat:

I had a great time exploring the whole show without the crowd, and intended to finish with Ulaanbaatar, a city that moved me so much three years ago (see "Welcome to Ulaanbaatar Village"). Unfortunately, when I arrived, its 'ger' was being dismantled at the last moment: located on the main building's rooftop, it could have been blown away. If this precaution turned out to be unnecessary, it somehow hammered down even harder (without any nails) the core messages from a city facing tremendous challenges, but at the same time able to leverage the amazing flexibility of its architecture. This could well be the poster image of a resilient city:

"Ulanbaatar's ger at Seoul Biennale Cities Exhibition unfortunately had to be temporarily folded yesterday because of Typhoon Lingling. If the typhoon failed to deliver its expected punches, this episode illustrates at the same time the flexibility of Mongolia's iconic architecture marvel, and urbanism challenges faced by its sprawling capital.
#SBAU #DonuimunMuseumVillage #gerhub" (@stephanemot 20190908 -
Go enjoy the countless shows, conferences, and other events (including the parallel ones) across the capital, and don't forget to pass by Seoul Museum of History, with its excellent 'Collective Market City' exhibition highlighting the key role markets played in the city's evolution from its very beginning:

"Collective Market City exhibition at Seoul Museum Of History. SBAU Live Projects with Jang Youngchul, Tomaz Hipolito, Young Wookoh, 000간, Roh Kyung, Oh Jaewon, Bang Jeongin" (@stephanemot - 20190909 -

Hurry up - you only have a couple of weeks left to enjoy SBAU 2019 (until November 10):

SBAU 2019:

Seoul Village 2019
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* yes, like last time, Pyongyang is there (this time at the Seoul Hall Of Urbanism and Architecture):

"North Korea meets South Korea at Seoul Biennale Pyongyang expo. Seoul Madang, Seoul HOUR. SBAU" (20190910 -

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