In Seoul, South Korea, the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism took place from September 2 to November 5, 2017. Organized by the Seoul Design Foundation and the municipal administration, the event under the motto “Imminent Commons” turned its attention to urban renewal and the restructuring of Seoul into a sustainable city of the future. The Biennale’s program was packed with lectures, exhibitions and activities. The main part comprised two large exhibitions (Cities Exhibition and Thematic Exhibition). These were joined by live projects sited at historically and industrially noteworthy locations in Seoul along with various programs and activities in which Seoul’s residents in particular participated. Attendees could choose between workshops and investigations centered on urban development and global issues. These were concerned among other things with support for the growing trend toward urban manufacturing – through which manufacturing reconquers urban spaces – and cooperation among people all over the world in the quest for solutions to the growing water shortage associated with climate change.
The staging of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism underlines the city’s forward-looking stance with the focus on architecture and urban development. This fall, residents and visitors to the South Korean capital in fact had the chance to attend several events devoted to architecture – among them the 9th Seoul Architecture Festival (SAF) and the UIA (International Union of Architects) World Congress, which was held for the first time in Seoul from September 3 to 10, 2017.