MVRDV and The Why Factory stage a series of interventions for the seventh Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) (UABB) jointly curated by curator and critic, Hou Hanrou and founding partners of URBANUS, Liu Xiaodu and Meng Yan (in alphabetic order). The Biennale’s theme Cities, Grow in Difference takes place across multiple sites in Nantou Old Town, a heterogeneous symbiosis of historic town and a contemporary urban village in Shenzhen, and runs until 15th March 2018. The central piece of these interventions is a 9meter installation, (W)ego House which has now been expanded for its Shenzhen debut.
The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) is the only biennale in the world based solely on the theme of Urbanism and Urbanization. Initiated in Shenzhen in 2005 and partnered with Hong Kong in 2007, for over a decade the UABB has explored issues of urban and urbanisation with a focus on the macroscopic background of unprecedented rapid urbanization in China and in global cities.
These interventions are part of the Urban Village section themed “Hybridity and Coexistence”, a major section dedicated to the analysis, research, explorations, relative exhibition and future imagination of urban villages. Curated by Meng Yan, it has built three sub-sections, which are Archive, Armory and Laboratory, seeking to provide future developmental models for urban villages with knowledge, paradigms and platform for experimental transformation projects.
MVRDV and research think-tank, The Why Factory, jointly present interventions exploring future cities: The Future City is Wide: Products that will Change our Cities, (W)ego House and The Vertical Village. Alongside these installations is a presentation of The Next Hutong, a research project by MVRDV that reflects on the hutong’s developments over the last decades, and proposals for a better way to model its future.
“The Why Factory and MVRDV show works that demonstrate the beauty of the existing and future urban village”, says Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder. “Individualism is paired with density and collectivism, where ego becomes wego.”
The Future City is Wide: Products that will Change our Cities is the result of over ten years of research by students of The Why Factory into future city products. How will these products change the world? What will it be like to live in an absolutely wonderful, infinite, fast, green, fun, biodiverse, compact, porous, (w)egoistic, and flexible world? What urban forms might appear? The products shown here in this film installation offer a wide range of answers to those questions with endless possibilities.
(W)ego House is an installation of several rooms made to fulfil idealistic but egoistic perspectives in a limited space. When confronted with the dreams of others, users must learn to negotiate with each other to optimise use of limited urban space.
The (W)ego installation represents a window into the future of adaptable housing to the user’s needs. This vision allows the coexistence of multiple lifestyles in an optimized dense reality.
The Vertical Village: Individual, Informal, Intense envisions a new model for the development of Asian cities. MVRDV and The Why factory proposes The Vertical Village, a three-dimensional community intended to bring back personal autonomy, diversity, flexibility and neighbourhood life to cities in Asia.
The Next Hutong is based on the result of research on The Xianyukou Hutong, located next to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. As it awaits redevelopment, inhabitants have moved to other locations and it has been left almost entirely vacant. What to do with this unusual situation? Because of the hutong’s prominence in central Beijing, it is a highly visible project, and the moment when a decision is made requires a huge amount of responsibility. What should it become? This is a moment to reflect on the hutong developments over the last decades and to create a better model for the future, the next hutong
Over 230 participants from more than 25 countries and regions, including China, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Holland, Croatia, Turkey, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Lebanon, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will take part in the Biennale. Included in this list are international architects and architectural firms, renowned scholars in architecture and urban planning, international and local artists, art organizations and agencies, colleges, universities and institutions.
MVRDV and The Why Factory’s participation has been made possible thanks to the valuable support of Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), the Urbanus curatorial team and an anonymous sponsor of (W)ego House. Winy Maas aims to give a lecture and workshop together with The Why Factory at the end of January/early February and the biennale runs until 15th March 2018.