The Architecture Foundation: Itinerant Architecture – How to Subvert an Architecture Biennale: 20.10.09

“There should be a gong or orchestral music to drown out people who ask silly questions…”

For our debut presentation to the Architecture Foundation, we gave an advanced preview of our ‘Gordon Wu CityLocal’ exhibition at the 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture: City Mobilization (for more information see our post about the Biennale above).

Over two evenings, the Architecture Foundation hosted a selection of presentations from the European contributors to the Biennale, and we were invited to take part as – in their words – a dynamic young practice turning conventional architecture upside down. 

The architecture foundation

Chaired by the editor of the Architects’ Journal, aberrant shared the stage with feld72 and Alexander Sverdlov (although Alexander had to give his presentation via video-link thanks to the UK Border Agency). 

There was a rumour Hans Ulrich Obrist would be in attendance. He wasn’t, but that didn’t stop the seats filling up. 

Ladies and Gentleman, please be upstanding for Gordon Wu…

The architecture foundation 2

After the presentations, aberrant and feld72 had a Q&A with the Chair. Questions centered on how our projects would subvert the traditional architecture biennale. Then we took it in turns to answer questions from the floor, which is when the room began to heat up… 

Most people took to Gordon Wu and the ideas he espouses. Gordon is an enigmatic personality wining over most people he is introduced to. The Chinese contingent was particularly enthusiastic for his project. 

The architecture foundation 3

Even so, some in the crowd struggled with the idea. A few questions went on so long we had to take it in turns to avoid answering them – there should be a gong or orchestral music to drown out people who ask silly questions as well as long, nonsensical answers. 

But none of us on the panel were quite prepared to answer one of the final questions of the night: why weren’t the European members on the panel more Chinese. Answers on a postcard please!

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