Seoul Biennale 2019

27. November 2019

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2019 has been commenced on the 7th of September with the official title “Collective City”. It consists of multiple exhibits grouped within five different platforms: Thematic Exhibition, Cities Exhibition, Public Programs, Live Projects and Global Studio, each of which represents a variety of urban planning projects from around the world. The aim is to create a space for communication and engagement of the public in the development of their cities. New collective phenomena and strategies of participation in the socio-urban dynamics of the city are presented. The B03 project led by Professor Martina Löw and Professor Jörg Stollmann presented the findings from fieldwork in Songdo in greater Seoul alongside two other studio projects showcasing Berlin, namely ‘Residing in the Hidden’ and ‘Accessibilities of an Art Institution’. All three represented Technische Universität Berlin under the common heading: „MAPPING RE-FIGURATIONS: MIGRANTS/RESIDENTS/VISITORS-FORMS OF COLLECTIVITY.“ A part of Biennale’s Global Studio, the B03 team exhibited its method of integrating visual and conceptual material. Professor Jörg Stollmann together with Seonju Kim, Timothy Pape and Dominik Bartmanski represented the team in Seoul. Entitled “Instant Smart City”, the presentation comprises a photographic slideshow and printed materials that thematize functioning and social ramifications of new residential typologies in Songdo. The novelty of the smart city Songdo is that it has been built from scratch on a reclaimed land in last two decades. Our goal was to indicate actual transformations of everyday life in specific parts of the city. We focused on how implementation of ‘smart city planning’ has enabled a development of what we provisionally call ‘semi-gated collectivities.’ With this new concept, we attempted to show patterns of continuity and change in Korean urban design. We used techniques of photographic mapping and collage in order to visualize the dynamic interaction between space, people and technology. In particular, we focused on the entwinement of morphological and semiotic aspects of boundary-making practices.