Urban Interactions

In the deepening process of global spatial connectivity and regional integration, Urban Interactions have become a universal topic featuring both philosophical significance and valuable innovative application. Urban interactions involve interactions between cities, between city and people, and between people in cities. In a sense, the city itself is a giant and complicated outcome of “system interactions”. With the emergence of more and more new interaction technologies (such as high-speed inter-city railway, big data and cloud computing, IoT, and AI recognition technology), from virtual space to daily life, physical urban interface to human society organization, and global production-consumption system to large urban clusters across regions, more and more unprecedented phenomena like “super city”, “super species” and “super society” will emerge. New relations including urban interactions, human-computer interactions, social interactions are gradually shaping and forming a new domain that humanity is about to face in the near future. 

Shenzhen and Hong Kong are a typical pair of the most interesting interactive cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. What new relations will the two develop and iterate? This may be a question this UABB will probe into. The selection of Futian underground high-speed railway station, the most important transport hub connecting Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as Main Venue of this UABB may suggest an intriguing clue: what would happen when the distance between the two giant super urban centers is reduced to less than 15 minutes. Moreover, from the context of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to the networked global space, it can be foreseen that S&T innovation will be intricately integrated with urban spaces, and new urban interactions will also bring about many unexpected and amazing scenes of future life. 

Under the theme of Urban Interactions there are two sections: "Eyes of the City" and "Ascending City".

2019 UABB主题及两大板块 © UABB.jpg

▲Theme and Sections of 2019 UABB © UABB


Eyes of the City Section

The "Eyes of the City" section is jointly curated by Carlo Ratti and the South China - Torino Lab (formed by South China University of Technology and Politecnico di Torino). It aims to investigate how Artificial Intelligence is going to impact architecture as well as people’s daily life in the city. Thanks to the most recent advances in digital technologies, deep learning and imaging, we are about to reach an unprecedented scenario. Architectural space is acquiring the full ability to “see”, with any room, street or shop in the city being potentially able to autonomously respond to one’s presence. The exhibition will collect design hypotheses and suggestions – imaginative, ironic, practical, visionary – so as to reflect on what kind of digitally-augmented city we want to build tomorrow.

 机械船:由麻省理工学院及阿姆斯特丹高等大都市预案研究院主导的阿姆斯特丹运河内自动机械船项目 © MIT Senseable City Lab.png

▲Roboat, a project by MIT and AMS prototyping an use of self-driving boats in the canals of Amsterdam ©  MIT and AMS

利用大数据,从人们的行为和社会动态理解城市现象© MIT Senseable City Lab - 副本.jpg

▲Using big data to understand urban phenomena - from people’s movements to social dynamics © MIT Senseable City Lab

The show will explore how the “Eyes of the City” scenario also brings us to a new understanding of issues such as the distinction between private and public space, the relation between creativity and increasing automation, the role of Big Data, and the ways in which technology can be re-appropriated by individuals and communities. Following the principle of an "open-source curatorship", Carlo Ratti and the South China-Torino Lab team are involving a group of Foundational Contributors to start a public discussion on the future of the digitally-augmented City. Among the confirmed guests there are authoritative architects, designers and thinkers such as Yung-Ho Chang, Vicente Guallart, Mitchell Joachim, Ying Long, Geoff Manaugh, Antoine Picon, Daan Roosegaarde, Liam Young, Philip F. Yuan. The core exhibition of this section will include projects selected through an international Open Call targeted at three groups of participants: architects, designers and artists; research centers and universities; writers, philosophers and scholars. The Open Call starts on April 1st and will last until May 31st, 2019.


▲Framework of Eyes of the City Section

The Open Call starts on April 1st and will last until May 31st, 2019. For details please visit:


Ascending City Section

The “Ascending City” section is curated by the team headed by Meng Jianmin and Fabio Cavallucci, bringing together a number of prestige architects, artists, filmmakers, writers and museum advisors, as well as interdisciplinary professionals. Dimensional ascent and descent, concepts in science fiction, were adopted by the curatorial team as a very important methodology. Here, cities are more than the physical facilities of high-rise buildings; their basic forms are ascending to higher dimensions. After this dimensional ascent, cities will become more intelligent, humanistic, inclusive, convenient and reliable.

城市是社会的再现,是新兴科技和城市居民之间关系的体现 © “城市升维”板块策展团队.jpg

▲The city is an expression of society, it reflects on relations with new technologies and the huge changes they produce on issues related to individual citizenship and individual ident ©Ascending City  Section

"Ascending City" consists of 3 sub-sections, “Empowering Citizens in Progressive Cities", "Urban Alchemists" and "Daily Sci-Fi", corresponding to the viewpoints of the city’s users, creators and visionary thinkers respectively. The first perspective is that of ordinary inhabitants, a bottom-up view; the second perspective is a macro-vision of a city, a top-down view; the third perspective tries to integrate the real and virtual worlds so as to maximize the application of advanced technologies. Liu Cixin, a sci-fi writer and author of The Three-Body Problem, Cai Guo-Qiang, a contemporary artist, and Wlodek Goldkorn, a Polish writer, served as academic consultants and will be specially involved in 2019 UABB (Shenzhen).

建筑师、艺术家和城市规划者记录和反应了城市变革 © “城市升维”板块策展团队板块策展团队©”城市升维“板块策展团队.jpg

▲Architects, artists and urbanists document and reflect on changes in cities©Ascending City  Section

“科幻现实”融合了人们对外太空或更高维度的设想,并将未来主义美学与科幻小说中所描绘的城市相结合 © “城市升维”板块策展团队.jpg

▲The sub-section “Daily Sci-fi” will be the meeting point between the desire to shape futuristic aesthetics embodied by cities projected and created in outer space and higher dimension©Ascending City  Section

In addition, the curatorial team will present a series of programs, such as Virtual Biennale, a Future City Fantasy, a Future City Interview Documentary, Architectural Sci-Tech Explorers, a Sci-Fi Art Exhibition, and Magic Art Cube, to fully and comprehensively explore the themes in "Ascending City".