UABB Think Tank Announced! / 2019 UABB Getting Ready



The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) has been held seven times. UABB engages in international and avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest. It is situated within professional and academic fields, extensively communicates and interacts with the wider public, and presents wonderful exhibitions with vitality. 

You may be curious about how the UABB Organizing Committee guarantees and maintains UABB’s ability to engage in international and avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest, how it makes decisions when confronting important issues related to the exhibition, and how it discusses and confirms the sustainable development direction of UABB in the future.

Meet UABB Think Tank - the core academic competitiveness of UABB. They review exhibition proposals, discuss and explore the future direction of UABB, give advice and suggestions, and grow with UABB.

 They are——


The Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Academic Committee (UABB Academic Committee) is the highest academic institution under the UABB Organizing Committee. The UABB Academic Committee consists of experts and scholars from the fields of architecture, urban planning and design, landscape, art, media, education, critics, exhibition, sociology and so on, and have the authority to make decisions, and review, assess and consult on core academic issues of UABB.

The UABB Academic Committee maintains its ability to engage in international and avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest through its guidance and review, by combining domestic and international perspectives and cross-disciplinary views.

Who are the 2019 UABB Academic Committee Members?

The 2019 UABB Academic Committee members have taken up their function. Among the 17 members, some have joint UABB for many years, the rest are newly-joined. Let’s see who they are and how do they feel about the position.



2019 UABB Academic Committee Group photo at meeting


2019 Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture (Shenzhen)Academic Committee Member List

* Listed in no particular order

Director: Zhang Yuxing

Member: Zhu Rongyuan, Ole Bouman, Pang Wei, Xu Minqi, Doreen Heng Liu, Jiang Jun, He Jianxiang, Zhang Zhiyang, Bernard Lim, Wang Weijen, Liu Xiaodu, Meng Yan, Zhou Rong, Aric Chan, Juan Du, Lu Andong


Zhang Yuxing

Vice Chairman of Luo District CPPCC

Executive Member of Urban Planning Society of Shenzhen

Member of Urban Design Expert Committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development

Director of Architectural Review Academic Committee under Architectural Society of China

“The 2017 UABB with the theme ‘Cities, Grow in Difference’ was the first UABB that focused on urban villages. Urban villages and UABB are closely combined with each other just like two hordes meeting by chance in the grassland. As G. Deleuze said, the essence of modern countries and metropolis is the universal and ubiquitous texturized structure. The texturizing process represents the normalization process of the central power system. However, urban villages and UABB are nomadic and smooth spaces beyond the control system, and they both have inherent multiple, free and informal features. The combination process of UABB and urban villages is full of opportunities and risks, and we should pay close attention to keeping them from getting involved in the texturization. In future, it is necessary to transform nomadic space into creative space, and regard urban villages as the twin sister of UABB. By doing so, we can save both urban villages and UABB, and maintain their inherent resistance.”


Zhu Rongyuan

Deputy Chief Planner of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design  

“As an Academic Committee member, I have witnessed the whole developing process of UABB from its first edition themed ‘City, Open Door’ to the latest one themed ‘Cities, Grow in Difference’. The difference between Hong Kong and Shenzhen has been the cultural basis to carry out wider communication and exchange for UABB, which is an unique Chinese cultural model. I firmly believe that UABB is an approach to observe and discuss current urban issues from a future perspective.Taking urbanism and architecture as the carriers of its voice and image, UABB has artistic, cultural, social and educational values. UABB has fulfilled these values in each session. Although the theme of each edition differs from one to another, the values it follows have never changed. I think this is why UABB has become increasingly attractive, and why I am still willing to serve as an Academic Committee member.”



Ole Bouman

Director of Design Society

2013 UABB Curator

“How to be unique as a Biennale?

Most biennales, being tools for city promotion, are all about ‘display.’ As a visitor, you can walk along the displays, possibly, but not necessarily, selected and prepared by the curator. These biennales, at best, are nice.

Some biennales, being sources of inspiration to either professionals, general public, or both, are all about show casing and demonstrating. They highlight specific qualities a curator wants us to pay attention to, for passing ideas with a hopefully lasting effect on people's mind. These biennales, at best, are strong.

Very rarely, biennales, being a catalyst for actual change, are about a real intervention in a city's reality. They respond, engage, interact and intertwine with public and urban situations, for the benefit of a vital civic life. Their curators don't use the city as a backdrop for their own performance, but risk to become a temporary protagonist in a much bigger play, creating creative opportunities for lasting effects beyond the time slot of the biennale. These biennales, if they succeed, are relevant by definition.

Already 7 times Shenzhen has proven the capacity to facilitate the complexity of the third kind. It looks like becoming the Shenzhen Curatorial Standard. Can No. 8 expands its reach?”


Pang Wei

General Manager & Chief Designer of Guangzhou Turen Landscape Planning Co., Ltd.  

“Frankly speaking, after years of persistence and development, UABB has been the best and most influential biennial in China and even across the world. Based on fast-growing urbanization, UABB is devoted to coming up with, thinking about and discussing solutions for various issues. Furthermore, UABB is a cross-field and non-commercial proponent and platform for “space intellectuals”, such as urban planners, architects, landscape designers, interior designers, etc. UABB encourages and facilitates architectural perspectives and practices, and creates a design atmosphere with a firm stance, warmth, integration, communication and fashion. The influence of UABB on the young generation is extremely valuable.”

“It is a great honor for me to be an Academic Committee member for two editions of UABB. In fact, debates exist not only in society but also in the Academic Committee, and debates are of great significance, in that they promote progress. As we know, it is questions rather than answers that drive us to think.”


Xu Minqi

Art Director of Guangzhou Opera House

“UABB has been a window for exchange between urban culture and world culture.”


Doreen Heng Liu

Founder & Chief Architect of Nansha Original Design

Part-time Associate Professor of School of Architecture, CUHK

2015 UABB (Shenzhen) Curator  

“I have witnessed the development of seven editions of UABB as an exhibitor, curator and Academic Committee member since its first edition in 2005. Biennale Architettura of La Biennale di Venezia have been held for only 16 editions so far, but is the most influential representative in the western and even the global architecture field. What is our position? Now, it may be time for UABB, as the first urbanism (architecture) biennial in the world, to review and rethink about this question. As a pioneer of China’s rapid urbanization, Shenzhen has always been a representative with experimental and special meaning. Urban issues should always be the starting point and focus of UABB.”

“I hope UABB can keep a fresh perspective and clear mind, maintain the tradition of “landing on different sites”, and try to facilitate effective translation of sustainable  development by self-challenging. Only by doing so can UABB be the voice in the field of urbanism in the near future. It is the real goal of UABB, isn’t it?”


Jiang Jun

Research-based Architect

Document Editor and Scholar-type Curator

Founding editor of "Urban China"

Chief Curator of the 14th Venice Biennale China Pavilion

“As one of hundreds of biennials in the world, UABB is unique in terms of being a organic driving force of Shenzhen’s urbanization, rather than in its “bi-city” or “urbanism\architecture”. UABB has been a comprehensive urbanization model, which systematically integrates geography (land resources/regional layout), economy (economic structure/industry layout), society (public participation/social security), politics (government-enterprise relationship/strategic planning), culture (urban culture/identity), history (agriculture/industry/post-industry) and space (city/architecture/articles). Although UABB can sufficiently distinguish itself from existing exhibitions in the world either as a “bi-city exhibition” in terms of organization pattern or “urban exhibition” in terms of content pattern, it is only this urbanization model that combines organization with content that can inherently ensure UABB remains unique among biennials, and make it one of the core competitiveness of Shenzhen.”

“UABB has a great influence on Shenzhen because of its long-lasting effect and its scale, but there are disadvantages. For example, it is difficult to have a deep enough impact due to its short duration, and its large scale makes it difficult to strengthen connections. The duration issue can be solved by choosing curators several editions in advance (like the way in which the Olympic Games host city was chosen), while the second problem can be solved by sourcing the curatorial materials of previous editions onto an online database where information is updated constantly and contents can be accessed at any time, so as to facilitate communication through cross-industry integration, and encourage debates through interaction. Only the proper knowledge structure can fully leverage social politics. I believe that the information management will surpass the specific organization and content of any UABB due to its growing inherent connections and the external interactions that parallel with urban evolution. The evolution from ‘an extension of UABB’ to ‘the source of UABB’ and then to ‘the source of Shenzhen’ is the mechanism to mobilize society, enlighten people and inspire creativity. At that time, UABB will be an offline product.”


He Jiangxiang

Founding Partner of O-Office Architectural Firm

Participant of Value Factory Reformation Design in 2013 UABB

2015 UABB Curator  

“The tradition of most biennales in the world is a kind of elitist thinking and presentation. However, UABB is deeply rooted in the urbanism of Shenzhen, directly participates and intervenes in the urbanization process, and promote surban development and renewal by the force generated by events and exhibitions. I hope UABB will maintain its mission and tradition in the future.”


Zhang Zhiyang

Founder and Chief Architect of INgAmE Office

Curatorial Team Member of 2013 UABB 

“UABB has been the most attractive and unique culture brand in Shenzhen after seven successful editions over the past 14 years. Each edition has turned out to be an international, professional and elite event, and these are the features and traditions that UABB should maintain and carry forward. Only through international communication and views can Shenzhen be connected with the world.”

“I hope UABB will pay more attention to its outlook in the future, and highlight the features of Shenzhen as a creative city. UABB should closely connect science, space, city and humanity. I also hope UABB has a more inclusive scope and content, to become a bridge to link the past and the future, ideals and realities, and cities and individuals.”


Bernard Lim

UABB (Hong Kong) Steering Committee Representative

Professor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong  

“I’m very honored to be elected as a member of UABB Academic Committee once again.”


Wang Weijen

UABB (Hong Kong) Steering Committee Representative

Professor of Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong

“Compared with various architecture biennales across the world, UABB has developed its own characteristics in over a decade: 1. Highlight the urbanity of architecture: observe architectural design under the framework of urban space culture, rather than in an isolated context; 2. Highlight the sociality and locality of urbanism: consider global issues that UABB is concerned about in the social context of Shenzhen; 3. Set the exhibition venue as the changing course of urban space: UABB has been the driving force of urban space change, by setting its venue in OCT, Shekou to Nantou old town. The above characteristics have not compromised the global features of UABB, instead, it has attracted talents from across the world to participate in and discuss urbanism and architectural topics in Shenzhen and China.”


Liu Xiaodu

Founding Partner and Chief Architect of URBANUS

2017 UABB (Shenzhen) Curator  

“As the above Academic Committee members mentioned, UABB plays an important role in the city through exhibition intervention. That is to say, taking the city as its venue has been its unique feature, this should be regarded as a tradition to be followed when deciding themes and venues. It is worth mentioning that UABB benefits tremendously from the independent curatorial system, which is the fundamental guarantee for the success of the previous seven editions and the subsequent ones. UABB should uphold and carry forward its independent curatorial system. We have reached consensus on the question why we should conduct UABB. UABB has been an important urban cultural event, and made certain international influence. It is of great significance to enhance the image of Shenzhen. I hope the next UABB will be a highly-specialized international exhibition and will be highly successful.”


Meng Yan

Founding Partner and Chief Architect of URBANUS

2017 UABB Curator

“As the one and only biennale of urbanism\architecture in the world, and with the mission to focus on cities and urbanization, UABB devotes attention to the discussion on urban issues which concern every individual now in China. Different from other biennales, UABB is not only an exhibition but also the site witnessing the most drastic urbanization during the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. From Shenzhen to the Pearl River Delta, cities in themselves are the biggest exhibition venues that accommodate the transformations. UABB is a platform for continuous discussion on the most pressing urban issues, and a laboratory for actual improvement of urban architecture and daily life.”


Zhou Rong

Associate Professor of College of Architecture, Tsinghua University  

“It’s a great honor to be elected to the 2019 UABB Academic Committee.”


Aric Chen

Design and Architecture Curator of M+ Museum

“One of the most remarkable features about UABB is that it integrates both the physical and discursive fabric of Shenzhen. The city thus becomes both site and subject, giving this biennale more than others a generative potential that's exciting and unique.”


Juan Du

Deputy Dean of International Affairs, HKU Faculty of Architecture

Founder and Chief Designer of IDU Architectural Firm  

The Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture has progressed into its current form of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale, and a major architectural and cultural event. I am glad to have participated in each of the seven iterations since its inception in 2005, and have observed a few principles that are of foundationally importance.

Firstly, the Biennale’s inception was rooted in bridging disciplinary divides of city planning, architecture, and design, based on a belief that all designs should be considered within the social and physical context of the city, or its urbanism. Secondly, UABB aims to carry global perspective and generate international participation, and yet is rooted in the specificity of Shenzhen and the PRD region. Lastly, through architectural and other related explorations, the Biennale aims to generate conceptual and physical contributions for the improvement of people’s everyday life.

I hope UABB continue to strengthen its unique characteristics, which is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, advancement of architecture and urbanism, and most importantly, to perform as an important cultural institution that advances the idea of a city opens to all.


Lu Andong

Professor of School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University

Director of Nanjing University–University of Cambridge Architecture and Urbanism Cooperative Research Center

“Remobilization · Redefinition

There are few cities can constantly redefine themselves as Shenzhen does. For this purpose, urbanization represents a constantly emerging landscape, which awaits to be discovered, described and adapted. UABB is a remobilization of urban space, as well as a redefinition of the emerging urbanism. UABB has been a necessary mechanism for urban experiments and creation - it has created a temporary city, which can be transitorily practiced and participated in to explore various possibilities of the nameless landscape. From this point of view, UABB is like a special site creation rather than an exhibition. It provides Shenzhen with various opportunities to rethink and redefine itself.”

Looking back at the past seven editions of UABB, who all are the people behind?

UABB has been growing with the rapidly developing city over the past decade. We cannot make UABB a success without the support of the Academic Committee members. We extend our sincere gratitude for their contribution and accompany.

*No particular order for Academic Committee Members List

City, Open Door!

2005 (1st) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee




Director: Yan Xunqi

Deputy Director: Cui Kai, Zhou Chang, Sun Zhenhua

Members: Lars Lerup, Ma Qingyun, Meng Jianmin, Wu Jiahua, Zhao Xiaojun, Dong Xiaoming, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Huang Zhuan



City of Expiration and Regeneration

2007 (2nd) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee




Director: Yung Ho Chang

Deputy Director: Cui Kai, Sun Zhenhua, Yan Xunqi

Members: Bi Xuefeng, Juan Du, Feng Yueqiang, Fung Wing Kee, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Huang Zhuan, Liu Xiaodu, Bernard Lim, Lu Hong, Meng Jianmin, Mark Wigley, Stefano Boeri, Wang Mingxian, Yin Shuangxi, Zhu Rongyuan


City Mobilization

2009 (3rd) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee


Members: Sun Zhenhua, Ma Qingyun, Yung Ho Chang, Bi Xuefeng, Huang Zhuan, Lu Hong, Liu Xiaodu, Meng Yan, Yin Shuangxi, Zhu Rongyuan, Han Jiaying, Doreen Heng Liu, Wang Weijen, Meng Jianmin, Fu Zhancheng, Bernard Lim, Ye Chang’an, Gao Xiaojun, Feng Yueqiang, Wang Mingxian


Architecture creates cities. Cities create architecture

2011 (4th) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee



Members: Yung Ho Chang, Ma Qingyun, Ou Ming, Sun Zhenhua, Liu Xiaodu, Lu Hong, Han Jiaying, Bi Xuefeng, Doreen Heng Liu, Feng Yueqiang, Wang Mingxian, Yin Shuangxi, Meng Jianmin, Feng Yuan, Yang Xiaoyan, Wang Weijen, Fu Zhancheng, Bernard Lim, Ye Chang’an, Huang Zhuan, Zhu Rongyuan, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Ole Bouman, Toyo Ito


Urban Border

2013 (5th) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee


Director: Sun Zhenhua

Members: Terence Riley, Lu Hong, Bi Xuefeng, Doreen Heng Liu, Feng Yueqiang, Yin Shuangxi, Feng Yuan, Yang Xiaoyan, Zhu Rongyuan, Shi Jian, Zhu Dake, Rao Xiaojun, Zhu Tao, Wang Fuhai, Jiang Jun, Juan Du, Wang Weijen, Alvin Yip, Ivan FU Chin-shing, Lu Lin

Re-Living The City

2015 (6th) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee



Director: Sun Zhenhua

Members: Ole Bouman, Li Xiangning, Jeffrey Johnson, Lu Hong, Zhu Rongyuan, Shi Jian, Meng Yan, Bernard Lim, Wang Weijen, Jiang Jun, Juan Du, Feng Guochuan, Hu Yeqiu, Ivan FU Chin-shing, Ma Li’an, Roan Ching-Yueh



Cities, Grow in Difference

2017 (7th) Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture Academic Committee



Director: Zhang Yuxing, Sun Zhenhua

Members: Aaron Betsky, Hubert Klumpner, Doreen Heng Liu, Bernard Lim, Wang Weijen, Zhu Rongyuan, Shi Jian, Jiang Jun, Hu Yeqiu, Feng Guochuan, Roan Ching-Yueh, Ole Bouman, Jeffery Johnson, Wang Shaopei, Xu Minqi, Pang Wei, He Jianxiang, Zhang Zhiyang, Huang Weiwen