Production City

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.