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Next year’s architecture biennale in Seoul will discuss resiliency through five ‘crossroads’

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 -- which is scheduled to be held in September next year in Seoul -- will discuss how the city of Seoul can be more resilient, accommodating a population of some 10 million people.

“Today, ‘resiliency’ is not a pointless word. The current situation forces us to build resilient cities,” said Dominique Perrault, the general director of the biennale, at a “pre-biennale” event Thursday. Its purpose was to declare the theme of the biennale and promote discussions among professionals about the upcoming event. 

Dominique Perrault, general director of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, speaks at a pre-biennale event in Paris. (Yonhap)
Dominique Perrault, general director of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, speaks at a pre-biennale event in Paris. (Yonhap)

The pre-biennale took place in Seoul and Paris simultaneously, and was streamed live on the biennale’s YouTube channel and Zoom.

“To build a resilient city, we have to do it together, by merging territories, knowledges, visions, inventions and commitments. And this commitment that we wish to bring is what we call ‘Crossroads.’ We came up with five themes of crossroads,” he said.

Marking the third edition of the architecture biennale in South Korea, the 2021 event will touch on five “crossroads” concerning how the city of Seoul can become more resilient. They are “Above/Below,” “Heritage/Modern,” “Craft/Digital,” “Natural/Artificial” and “Safe/Risk.”

Titled “Crossroads, Building the Resilient City,” the biennale will kick off next year on Sept. 6 and run through Nov. 9 across Seoul, providing an arena for communication on the role of cities and architecture. Approximately 200 artists, including architects, urban planners and designers from 100 countries, are expected to participate.

“A year ago, when we first presented the idea, ‘Crossroads,’ we were seeking that we should no longer be separate or live separately because in this city everyone lives separately and work separately without any strong relationship. We did not want people to be isolated in the city,” Perrault said. “We decided on the theme of crossroads because that signifies interchanges. The number of the (participating) cities is very large, so it will truly be a global event.”

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism was launched in 2017 as an event that focuses on cities and gathers their representatives to discuss the challenges linked to the urban condition and share potential solutions.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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