The Urban Villages of Shenzhen comprise of a series of historic cores whose presence today is precarious at best. Surrounded by the rapid expansion of the contemporary city, the dense urban fabric of these communities serves as a reminder of a past that is not so distant as it is fundamentally out of scale with the emerging forces of real estate. The advent of the ‘biennale’ as a cultural event is maybe a good vehicle to draw light onto these vulnerable communities, but the curatorial constraints require economies that do not afford permanence. Despite this, or maybe precisely because of it, we imagined an installation on the main plaza that, that however vulnerable, is designed to become part of the urban fabric, to serve as a civic structure, and to become conversant with the community it serves for a longer time to come; in tandem, the challenge of the structure is to develop a resilient strategy that has the raw finish of infrastructure, the constraints of economy and the flexibility to imagine many activities, programs and events.
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