Live Projects

Production City

Curator: Yerin Kang(SoA), Jie-Eun Hwang

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 highlights production as an essential and imminent common of the evolving contemporary city. In the modern era of mass production, industrial infrastructure expanded beyond the borders of cities and nations and became part of global network. Modern industry was no longer a viable function within the city as the metropolis became the center of consumption and real estate investment. However, as we now confront the limits of growth and inequality, the industrial system is being reorganized across a vast social, spatial, and ecological landscape. The scales and networks of production and consumption are being re-adjusted to the entire life-cycle of a city. Within this evolving value chain, mass customization and the urban fabric become inseparable. If mass production gave birth to the modern city, in the twenty-first century, new modes of production gives rise to a new kind of value network that challenges the contemporary city to reorganize itself as a sustainable social, economic, and political entity. 

Production City consists of three thematic sections: Anatomy of Things, Neo Manufacturing Workshop, and Project Seoul Apparel. The diverse projects related to garment, metal, machinery, electronics, and architectural industries will be featured in Changsin-dong, Euljiro, and Sewoon Sangga area.

All exhibitions and events of Production City take place on the sites of production in Seoul. The main venue is located on the newly renovated pedestrian deck in Sewoon Sangga,and Sewoon Basement and Project Seoul Apparel happens at the special gallery in the middle of garment factory district. In addition to exhibition, participatory workshops, public talks, and field tours will expand hands-on experiences of hidden layer of the Production City.

Production City Guide Map

Anatomy of Things

Production City seeks an analytical and creative overview on the geography of resource of urban manufacturing. A closer look at the industries in the inner city of Seoul shows that it has sustained a set of their own legitimate local standards, and recycling networks intertwined with the global industrial issues of production. Production City discovers new kind of values of production, that are expected to reorganize the current framework of production and benefit the producer community.

Neo Manufacturing Workshop

New technology changes society. It offers innovative opportunities that challenge existing socio-economic systems. Neo Manufacturing proposes that new technologies can bring young labor and sustainable work back into the city. Rather than the logic that seeks to replace human work with machines, Neo Manufacturing envisions machines working with humans to create new modes of production and consumption. Scientists, engineers, artists, designers, and architects working in the field of artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, and digital fabrication will be invited to explore hybrid approaches that can thrive in the inner city.

Project Seoul Apparel

Associate Curators : Isak Chung + Stephanie Seungmin Kim

Production City features a spinoff project that conveys dynamics in the garment industries. Project Seoul Apparel identifies the urgent issues facing the garment manufacturing business in Changsin-dong, a traditional textile quarter next to the ultra-modern Dongdaemun fashion retail district. The project proposes a better system that improves working environment and sustainable labor operation. Optimized in fast fashion of Dongdaemun market, the production capacity of this area relies on individual small size factories. Global artist groups of architect, fashion designer, urban researcher, and film maker, from Korea and United Kingdom, suggest provocative solutions through local network of community governance.

Urban Foodshed

Curator: Hyewon Lee

Since the start of the 21st century, we have witnessed a series of global food security disasters: from the worldwide bee colony collapse (2006), to the wheat failure in Eastern Europe (2012), and the most recent bird flu outbreaks in Europe and Asia (2016). In South Korea alone, the bird flu resulted in 27 million poultry being culled. We have further entered the age of peak food- peak corn (1985), peak rice (1988), peak fish (1988), peak wheat (2004), and peak chicken (2006). Borrowed from the concept of “peak oil,” the point in time when the maximum amount of production is reached followed by a plateau or terminal decline, peak food highlights the high inputs of water and energy (over 70% of global water consumption going into agriculture)that go into agricultural production as related to the downward inflections of these major food crops. Moreover, as peak food leads to generalized food insecurity, volatile food markets and food shortages ensue, affecting the poorest populations. At the same time, we have witnessed the rise of new “water barons” as top multinational investment banks and multibillionaires race to buy up land around important water sources worldwide. 

Set against this background, Urban Foodshed seeks to provide a vision for alternative urban food systems based on the sustainable use of land, water, and energy. A foodshed constitutes the geographical area and the resource flows that produce food for a particular population. Adapting the term watershed to the socio-economic context of food production, food ecologists and urban geographers introduced the term to “facilitate critical thought on where our food is coming from and how it is getting to us” as well as to restore a sense of place to our food system. Involving an ensemble of leading actors that include organic farmers and permaculturalists, beekeepers, environmental activists, and a diverse group of scientists—soil biologists, botanists, mycologists, entomologists, ornithologists, oceanographers, meteorologists and toxicologists, Urban Foodshed will raise awareness of the geography of food production, distribution, and consumption in the everyday life of the city.

Urban Foodshed Guide Map

Walking the Commons

Curator: Soo-in Yang, Kyung Jae Kim

After decades of rapid modernist development, Seoul became a city inhospitable to walking and almost devoid of pedestrian plazas. A more recent shift in Seoul Metropolitan Government policy has given birth to various mobility sharing programs, the regeneration of infrastructure, the excavation and recovery of urban walking routes, and the continuous improvement of public transportation systems, all seeking to reinvent Seoul into a walking city. The regeneration of Sewoon Sangga, the Seoul Station area, and Seoullo, the establishment of Gyeongui Line Green Park, the Jongno BRT project, and plans for the re-use of obsolete underground passage ways are just a few of the major projects that seek to transform Seoul’s existing modern infrastructure into part of pedestrian-based mobility network. In contrast to previous redevelopment projects of Seoul - based on transportation nodes and large scale, insular interior spaces - these projects engage history, culture, economic incentive, and technology in a multi-dimensional experiential and information network. Through projects such as Playable City, Musicity, Brain Flaneur, Soundline, and in partnership with a variety of mobility projects of Seoul, Walking the Commons intervenes into the fabric of the cityto explore the possibilities of an evolving walkable city.

Appropriating infrastructure and smart city technologies to create new connections, by injecting play and creativity into the everyday urban fabric, these interactive, participatory installations bring citizens into a social dialogue with their city. In Musicity, for example, pedestrians with GPS applications installed in their personal mobile devices listen to music as they reach a certain area within the city. Musicians are commissioned to compose original tracks in response to a particular building or urban landscape. As part of their walking experience, citizens are inspired to explore the city, musically and architecturally. The Brainwave Flaneur is a real time, pedestrian brainwave tracking project. The vast brainwave data generated in particular walking environments are recorded, archived, analyzed, and displayed. If in the past the quality of the walking environment was evaluated with limited data such as sidewalk measurements, number of building openings, and the density of greenery, it is now possible to use the psychological responses of pedestrians to understand the walking environment.

on-site project guide map

exhibition at DDP Design street

Brainwave Flaneur

In collaboration with the Cloud Lab of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Brainwave Flaneur analyzes the walking environment of the exhibition place and its neighboring areas by using the results of the EEG showing the stress index received from the surroundings of pedestrians and suggests a variety of walking paths. It is a program that allows citizens to participate in 5 field courses during the Biennale. Preliminary research and analytical data are displayed at DDP.


As a Connected City joint program of the UK/Korea 2017-18, Musicity provides the music composers made for specific places through an app. Visitors listen to music, stay in the place they visit, rediscovering and experiencing the city in a new way. For four weeks during the Biennale, when you go to seven places in downtown Seoul, such as Seun Sangga, DDP, and Seoullo 7017, the music is automatically played from the app at each specific place. 

Playable City

As a Connected City joint program of the UK/Korea 2017-18, Playable City enables creators or media artists to implement experience programs in specific locations. It provides a special experience to occupy and enjoy the public space of the city through media technologies such as lighting, sensors, and interactive games. It will be held in the Cheonggyecheon stream area around Seun Sangga for five days during the Biennale. 


Soundlines is a project that makes various indicators of the urban environment auditory, records how visitors respond to the information gathered while walking in the city and reveals the interaction. An app responding to the sensor installed on the walking path is produced, and pedestrians can listen the music designated to each point of the city through the mobile app or experience an interactive game. It is carried out in the vicinity of DDP during the Biennale period, and the movement patterns and accumulated traces of the pedestrians collected through the app are turned into an abstract image and displayed at DDP. 

Shared Mobility

Seoul Bike and Nanum-car are the most common shared transportation means in the city of Seoul. Mobility using eco-friendly energy, shared transportation means and used-centered services is related to addressing issues such as environmental pollution and traffic congestion in cities. Participants can learn about the shared forms of public transportation in Seoul and take part in the event.

JOINT PROJECT | Connected City


Project Study :  Bomi Kim, Hyunji Kim, Jiwon Shin 

Program : Yoo Kyung Lee, So Hyun Park

Exhibition Design : Hye Won Kim, Jisu Ha