The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 is to go ahead with a digital-physical hybrid arrangement, according to event curator Dominique Perrault. In a letter to artists and visitors, Perrault explained how the biennale will begin with an online opening event on September 16th, while three exhibition venues will host the physical biennale in Seoul from September 16th to October 31st.
“We imagined everything, but while we hoped to enjoy a lull in the spread of the virus, nothing happened as expected, preventing most of you from attending the Seoul Biennale event,” said Perrault. “However, despite the sanitary crisis and the Covid level restrictions in Korea, the 2021 edition of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism will still take place.”
The 2021 edition of the biennale is titled “CROSSROADS, Building the Resilient City,” and seeks to uncover perspectives on future cities while asserting the importance of dialogue and interaction in architecture and urban planning. Using Seoul as a living example of the complexities of 21st-century cities, the biennale will explore the intricate interactions between people, buildings, infrastructure, and policies visible in cities across the world.
“Building the Resilient City means being anchored in the world, not the world of tomorrow but the world of today,” Perrault continued. “In the resilient city, everything must be resilient, even the events. Our strength of imagination and conviction allows us to respond in real-time and adapt to all situations. We are resilient because we are constantly alert.”
Following the online opening of the event on September 16th and 17th, broadcast on YouTube and the biennale’s website, the Biennale will open with six exhibitions, as well as numerous related conferences and events. In total, two hundred contributions from architects, urban planners, landscape architects, designers, artists, and representatives from more than one hundred cities will be showcased at the exhibition.
“This evolution towards a more digital opening will allow everyone to participate and to prepare an exceptional closing period that will begin mid-October and culminate on October 31st on the closing day,” said Perrault. “What everyone wanted to claim will be claimed. What we wanted everyone to say will be heard — ONLINE x ONSITE — which becomes our final crossroad and the final theme of the 2021 Biennale edition.”
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