2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)
Urban Interactions
December 22, 2019–March 8, 2020


2019 UABB Urban Interactions will open to the public at the Main Venues Futian Railway Station and Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning (MOCAUP) on December 22, 2019. At the same time, nine Sub-Venues will be set up in other districts of the city to interconnect with the Main Venue, completing an organically interactive network throughout the city.

The team of Chief Curators includes Architect and Director of MIT Senseable City Lab Carlo Ratti, CAE Academician Meng Jianmin and famous curator and art critic Fabio Cavallucci. Academic Curator is the South China-Torino Lab (Politecnico di Torino and SCUT). Interaction, as an important methodology of this UABB, is profoundly embodied in the concept, composition and presentation of the exhibition. Compared with the previous editions, this UABB involves the widest scope of disciplines and the most diverse perspectives. The exhibition consists of two sections, namely “Eyes of the City” and “Ascending City”, which will explore the evolving relationship between urban space and technological innovation from different perspectives.

More than 140 works will be presented by over 280 participants from 24 countries and regions in the exhibition, including MVRDV, Liam Young, Stefano Boeri, Dominique Perrault, Sou Fujimoto, Ryoji Ikeda, Wang Shu, Yung-Ho Chang, Philip F. Yuan, Liu Cixin, Academician Cui Kai, Academician Wang Jianguo, and other well-known international and domestic architects, artists and institutes. At the same time, a series of academic exchange events and public events will be held during the opening week and exhibition period to involve the visitors’ participation.

Eyes of the City

“Eyes of the City” Section: When City and Buildings Have the Ability to See
Exhibited at the venue of Futian Railway Station, the “Eyes of the City” section is jointly curated by Carlo Ratti and South China-Torino Lab. It aims to explore how digital technologies and artificial intelligence are going to impact architecture and people’s daily life in the city.

Roboat, a project by MIT and AMS prototyping an use of self-driving boats in the canals of Amsterdam © MIT and AMS

“Eyes of the City” section was conceived through an “open curatorship” approach. which has brought together many disciplines and points of view. More than 60 international exhibitors shared their blueprints digitally, and the entire exhibition was fabricated locally. The section consists of eight sub-sections: The World’s Urban Lab, Mobility Landscapes, Silicon Pupils, Digital Society, Design Intelligence, Artificial Ecologies, Resisting Technologies, and Curating the City. exploring the impacts of the “Eye of the City” scenes on the daily life.

Using big data to understand urban phenomena – from people’s movements to social dynamics © MIT Senseable City Lab

In parallel to this, leading architects, designers, philosophers and scientists were involved as “Foundational Contributors”, to reflect on and respond to the underlying themes of the exhibition. The section engages with its unusual venue, showcasing how railway stations are among the places where the impact of the “Eyes of the City” is going to be felt the most in the future.

Ascending City

“Ascending City” Section: Cross-Disciplinary Future-Oriented Fantasies
“Exhibited in MOCAUP, the “Ascending City” Section is curated by the team headed by Meng Jianmin and Fabio Cavallucci, gathering a number of prestigious architects, artists, filmmakers, writers and museum researchers as well as interdisciplinary members who discuss the methodology of this UABB in a brand new and profound way.

The city is an expression of society, it reflects on relations with new technologies and the huge changes they produce on issues related to individual citizenship and individual ident ©Ascending City Section

“Ascending City” consists of 3 sub-sections, “Empowering Citizens in Progressive Cities,” “Urban Alchemists” and “Daily Sci-Fi”, corresponding to the views of users, creators and thinkers of the city respectively. “Empowering Citizens in Progressive Cities” looks at the city from the perspective of citizens, examining the relationship between emerging technologies and urban residents and the dramatic changes it brings to the identity and self-identity of individual citizen. “Urban Alchemists” records and reflects transformations of city from the perspectives of architects, artists and urban planners.

“Daily Sci-Fi” builds a bridge between the tangible and the intangible, reality and ideality, existence and imagination. In addition to the three subsections, the “Ascending City” section also includes three special projects “Nine Cities, Millions of Futures,” “Art Cube” and “Virtual Biennale”.


2019.12.21 Saturday

12:15-12:30 Institutional Welcome

Venue: MOCAUP Cloud Platform

12:30-14:00  Academic Seminar : The New Public Space

Venue: MOCAUP Cloud Platform


Public space is the background of urban life, and also the stage of public life. This panel looks at the way in which the public space retains a central role in city-making, by addressing the following questions: what does it mean to design for the public? How is the relationship between the city and the commons changing?

Moderator: Andong Lu

Guests:Martjin De Waal, Linda Vlassenrood, Thomas Wong, Betty Chen,  Filippo De Pieri

14:10-15:40  Academic Seminar: Urban Interactions

Venue: MOCAUP Cloud Platform


Urban interactions involve interactions between cities, between city and people, and between people in cities. In a sense, the city itself is a giant and complicated outcome of “system interactions”. Chief curators of 2019 UABB and curators of previous UABB will conduct an in-depth discussion on the theme of this year’s UABB, “urban interactions”, and uncover the veil of urban interactions.

Moderator: Ole Bouman 

Guests: Carlo Ratti, Meng Jianmin, Fabio Cavallucci, Michele Bonino, Sun Yimin , Doreen Heng Liu, Liu Xiaodu , Meng Yan

2019.12.22 Sunday

10:00-11:20  Academic Seminar: Architects in South of China

Venue: MOCAUP Multifunctional Hall


South China is the place where the economic development began in 1978, and again in 1992 after Deng Xiaoping travel in the South; metropolis, cities, infrastructure and nature all together have shaped a new image of urban and rural development. What lessons learnt from the Occident, what lessons learnt from experiences, what lessons learnt from inhabitants? 

Moderators: LI Tao, Françoise Ged

Guests: HUANG Quanle, JIANG Ying, TANG Zhaohui, XU Di, FENG Yang

11:30-12:30  Academic Seminar: Future of Heritage

Venue: MOCAUP Multifunctional Hall


Heritage is a more and more common topic in urban planning, architecture, and culture. With this specific attention to the past, how to consider the current relationships between cities and villages, between technicians and communities, what new networks and links to create or to reinforce in a prospective way?

Moderators: Michele Bonino, Françoise Ged

Guests: SHAO Yong, LIU Hui, ZHANG Chunyan, YANG Jianqiang, LI Bing

12:40-14:10 Academic Seminar: Design and Practice

Venue: MOCAUP Cloud Platform


Under the background of economic globalization, the reorganization of capital and labor force promotes the reconstruction of the urban spatial economy and the transformation of physical space. We cannot discuss urban design and practice without the concern of the social, political, and economic background of the practice. This panel looks at the way in which design practice evolves to maintain social, political, and economic relevance within a changing world. What does it mean to practice architecture and urban design in an increasingly digitized world? What kind of skillsets should the designers of tomorrow have?

Moderator: Jianxiang He

Guests: Xu Yibo, Philip Yuan, Wanyu He, Zhang Li, Roland Snooks

12:40-14:10  Academic Seminar: Across Media

Venue: MOCAUP Multifunctional Hall


The rapid development of Internet technology has given birth to a series of new forms of communication, and the modes of media communication have also changed.

This panel looks at the way in which the design disciplines appropriate new modes of production and dissemination, and how navigating across different media allows designers to open up new avenues of agency.

Moderator: Francois Penz

Guests: Liam Young, Anna de Manincor, Loris Cecchini, François ROCHE

14:30-16:00  Academic Seminar: Across Scales

Venue: MOCAUP Multifunctional Hall


In different geographical and cultural conditions, different scales and dimensions, diverse faces of cities emerge. This panel looks at the way in which designers interpret and merge the different scales of city-making. How can emerging technologies allow for a maximization of design effectiveness when designing across the many scales of urban transformation?

Moderator: Bao Li

Guests: Stephanie Pieri, Andrei Martin + Gilles Retsin, Paolo Mellano, Fei Jun, Wang Weijen

Exhibition Theme