Ole Bouman will act as Creative Director, and he will collaborate with Stylepark on Urban Labs. Meanwhile, Li Xiangning + Jeffrey Johnson will be the Academic Directors.
The 5th edition of UABB*Shenzhen will open in Shekou, Shenzhen at the end of 2013.
The theme of the 5th UABB is “Urban Border”, which has been developed under the precondition of pluralistic values. It emphasizes the diversity, differences and individuality ignored, even hidden, by mainstream trends and homogeneity inherent in speedy urbanization. The curatorial teams will develop the Biennale proposal according to this theme. For this edition, UABB*Shenzhen and Hong Kong will use the same theme and gradually step forward to the goal of “One Biennale.”
Shekou is an industrial zone in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, which is the experimental field of reform and opening-up in China. The main venues are the former YAOPI Float Glass Factory (Venue A) and the Old Warehouse at Shekou Ferry Terminal (Venue B) that both belong to China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Co., Ltd. They will be linked by public transportation and greenways. The Creative Director, Ole Bouman, will be in charge of Venue A, the Manifesto/Prospective Venue, while the Academic Directors, Li & Johnson, will present Venue B, the Documentary/Retrospective Venue. In 2013, the Shekou Industrial Zone will welcome its renewal and upgrading. It will provide UABB with an opportunity to witness a new chapter of urbanization in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) of China. Some Biennale activities will also be organized at other sites in the city.
Creative Director Ole Bouman is a Dutch architecture professional, author and educator. He has long been active in the fields of global architecture and urbanism. He was the Director of The Netherlands Architecture Institute until January 2013 and has extensive international teaching experience. He has taught and regularly lectured at internationally famous universities and diverse cultural institutions. He is a seasoned curator with exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Sao Paulo Biennale. His excellent exhibition project Housing with a Mission, Dutch and Chinese architects’ designs for the ants tribe in 2011’s UABB*Shenzhen won the Organizer Committee Award. Stylepark, as the partner of Mr. Ole Bouman, is a leading international platform for architecture and design. As curators, consultants and commentators, Stylepark mediates between architects, planners and urbanists.
The Academic Directors are Li Xiangning from China and Jeffrey Johnson from the United States. Mr. Li teaches as a Full Professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, and is a renowned scholar of Chinese contemporary architecture theory, criticism and curation. Being a stellar academic, he has been invited to lecture at universities such as Harvard and Princeton. He was the Chief Curator of the Hainan Sanya Design Biennale, and curated exhibitions at the Milan Triennale and Chengdu Biennale. Jeffrey Johnson is the founder and director of China Lab at Columbia University. Both Mr. Li and Mr. Johnson have participated in UABB*Shenzhen before.