Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

September 1–November 5, 2017
Publish date: 

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, a global academic forum and exhibition that promotes creative ways to address urban problems under the theme Imminent Commons, will begin in three months. With participants from over 50 cities; 30 universities, including Seoul National University, MIT, and Keio University; and more than 120 related organizations, including the British Council, European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and InKo Centre (Korean cultural center in India), the Seoul Biennale will be held over a period of 66 days from September 1 to November 5 throughout various locations in Seoul such as Donuimun Museum Village and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).

Seoul Biennale will present a new paradigm in urban architecture through two main exhibitions: the Thematic Exhibition: 9 Commons at Donuimun Museum Village which will present the works of over 40 teams from 24 countries under the theme Imminent Commons, and the Cities Exhibition: Commoning Cities at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which plans to showcase the public projects of around 50 major cities around the world including Beijing, London and Vienna so that viewers may have the opportunity to explore the common values that cities promote.

Live Projects Seoul: various projects carried out under the themes of urban manufacturing, food security, and walking environment

In addition to the two main exhibitions, the Biennale will also feature Live Projects Seoul which involves various experimental programs carried out throughout Seoul, at places such as Sewoon Sangga, Euljiro Tool Shopping Center and Changsin-dong Sewing Workshop. Open to the public free of charge, these projects will allow visitors to experience the urban policies of today and the future from the viewpoint of the public. Live Projects Seoul consists of three main projects: Production City (urban manufacturing), Urban Foodshed (water and food security), and Walking the Commons (walking environment).


Production City highlights the manufacturing sites in Seoul and allows people to discover new potential for urban manufacturing with a view to creating a sustainable city. The program consists of various exhibitions and workshops. "Neo Manufacturing workshops" are events for architects, makers, engineers, and the public which will be held in the Sewoon Sangga and Euljiro area. Workshops for experts will be held in July and August, while workshops for visitors will be held in September and October. The final products created by the workshop participants will be exhibited at the Seoul Biennale.

Urban Foodshed is designed to inform people about various issues related to the urban environment, resources, and food, such as water shortages, urban farming, and disposable products, and guide them in experimenting with various solutions to such issues. The Biennale Café and Restaurant, which are scheduled to open in Donuimun Museum Village during the Seoul Biennale, are part of the Urban Foodshed. At the Biennale Café, only 100-percent eco-friendly and recycled products such as bamboo pulp cups and bamboo straws will be used instead of disposable cups and straws. The Biennale Restaurant will offer thematic dinner programs encompassing cooking classes, tasting sessions and discussions about food based on weekly themes.

Walking the Commons highlights Seoul’s vision of becoming a walkable city. The programs held under this project include experiences of shared mobility (Seoul Bike and Nanum Car), "Brainwave Flaneur," and "Playable City," which will be held in the Donuimun, Jongno, Euljiro, Sewoon Sangga and DDP areas. At "Brainwave Flaneur" program, participants can have their stress levels assessed based on measurements of their brain waves and discuss the types of paths they can enjoy the most. "Playable City," held jointly with the British Council Korea, will give visitors the rare opportunity to cast existing areas in Seoul, such as Sewoon Sangga and Cheonggyecheon, in a different light using various media technologies including lighting, sensors and interactive games.

In addition, various public programs will be held, including: International Studios, Common Library, Film & Video Program, tours, lectures and workshops.

Related events

Imminent Commons: The Debates 2

July 4, 2–5:30pm 

Clore Study Room, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Press tour

August 31, 11am–1:30pm 

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and Donuimun Museum Village, Seoul


September 2, 3–8pm 

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and Donuimun Museum Village, Seoul

source: e-flux