Go West at IABR: One more week

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This is the last week our proposal ‘Allmetropolis‘ is on show at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. If you’re interested in how Europe can develop a Special Economic Zone following the Chinese model, visit the NAi. Or check our video on YouTube. Contact us if you want to know more about our idea to turn Flevoland Province into a Special Economic Zone.

Images from video ‘Allmetropolis’, courtesy Go West

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Allmetropolis: learning from China’s growth model

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Starting Thursday 8 December, Go West Project will present a new research project during the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture. Central theme: What would happen if Europe created a Special Economic Zones following the Chinese model? To anwer that question, we compare two regions that started their urban growth at the end of the 1970s: one, Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China, the other, the manmade island of Flevoland in the Netherlands.

Over the years, both urban regions have developed in a completely different manner. The New Towns in Flevoland has a population of 400,000, for large part commuters working in the Randstad and looking for a suburban living environment. Shenzhen, for its part, has grown into ‘the factory of the world’ with more than 10 million migrant workers from all over China.

In the exhibition Allmetropolis, Go West Project compares policy, economy, residential areas and future plans of the two regions. It then poses the question what would happen in Flevoland would implement China’s successful model for growth, meaning it would transform itself into a Special Economic Zone with preferential tax and other policies compared to the surrounding area.

This research project addresses consequences of current international developments where Europe is increasingly looking at China for financial help to solve the debt crisis. When Europe wants to attract Chinese investors, it’s not more than logical to have a close look at Chinese models for investment and growth.

Venue: B10, OCT, Nanshan, Shenzhen
Exhibition from 8 December 2011 – 18 February 2012

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It’s Biennale!

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Luo Fahui, Chengdu, October 2010

Every city has one these days: a Biennale. After the ferriswheel it is probably the most attractive attribute to put your city on the map with. This month, the Shanghai Biennale opened.

Its first edition, in 1996, was the great breakthrough for Luo Fahui, an artist from the city of Chengdu who we visited and interviewed last month. Luo is now an internationally known artist, with shows from Hong Kong to Amsterdam. His work is  not in the Shanghai Biennale anymore. ‘Now it’s time for others.’

Question is what this years Biennale will bring forward. The curatorial team, who are all Chinese, seem to turn this edition into a sort of redefinition momentum. Gao Shiming, executive curator and professor at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou:

“We decided for 2010, this would be the perfect time and opportunity to ask, what is the Chinese opinion on contemporary art?”

Quite a question to start the curating of an art show with.

Read the whole about the Shanghai Biennale here: Reassessing the Shanghai Biennale – NYTimes.com.

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The movie: 100 Days of Stories

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Chinese film maker Kevin Wang made a short documentary about our performance ‘100 Days of Stories’ as part of the Shenzhen/ Hong Kong Architecture Biennale. You can watch the whole movie online now! See below:

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100 Days of Stories wins Innovation Award!

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Award

Last week we received an e-mail from the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale:

Nominated by the curators first, then selected by the Academic Committee, the Shenzhen Biennale Organizer Committee presented the following awards for the participant works: Organizer Committee Award, Documents Award, Innovation Award and Public Choice Award.

May we proffer our sincerest congratulations to you that you have won the Innovation Award of the 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of UrbanismArchitecture!!

Today, we got a package with the Award, and the official Certificate. Of course, we are very delighted with this award. Thanks again to everyone who cooperated to make 100 Days of Stories a success: team, taxi drivers, assistants, sponsors, curators and of course the audience!

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Exhibition at Biennale until 23 January

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Although the Performance of 100 Days of Stories is finished now, visitors of the Biennale can still visit our Exhibition booth. In this small exhibition you get an insight of the six cities the drivers are from. Moreover you see pictures of the trips the drivers made to Shenzhen. You can visit the Biennale Exhibition in the area under the South Civic Square, Shenzhen.Open till January 23, 2010!

Exhibition

Go West exhibition space in the SZ/HK Biennale

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Designws.com – SZ / HK Biennale Of Urbanism \ Architecture

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Go West Project contribution to the SZ/HK Biennale on designws.com:

Designws.com – Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale Of Urbanism \ Architecture.

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Goodbye…

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After 6 beautiful days, on December 11 it was time to say goodbye. We made some last pictures on the Civic square together, and then the drivers started their journeys back home. Another 10,000 kilometers in total…

Taxidrivers leaving

Taxidrivers leaving

The drivers in front of the Civic Building and the Maurer Pavilion

The drivers in front of the Civic Building and the Maurer Pavilion

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Last supper

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During the last night, the drivers offered us a great dinner in a very good Hunan restaurant in Shenzhen. Of course, there was also baijao involved..

Hohhot, Changsha and Wuhan driver enjoying Hunan dishes

Hohhot, Changsha and Wuhan driver enjoying Hunan dishes

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Beach Boys

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Beach Boys

The taxi drivers turned out to be beach boys

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Driving exhibition

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Thursday afternoon, we decided to take a small sight seeing tour through Shenzhen with the 6 taxis. We wanted to visit the beach with the team and the drivers. It took us a one hour drive through the city of Shenzhen. The taxi project became a driving exhibition. Visitors could view the exhibition from their cars in the traffic jam…City Mobilization!

Taxi's lined up in front of Civic Square before leaving

Taxi’s lined up in front of Civic Square before leaving

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Biennale visitors take taxi’s

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During 6 days, the taxistand in front of the Civic Building was roaring with activity…

Passengers getting into Changsha taxi

Passengers getting into Changsha taxi

Go West assistant Ada helping at the taxi stand

Go West assistant Ada helping at the taxi stand

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Media like taxis

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During the perfomance of 100 Days of Stories, the project got a lot of media attention. The taxi drivers became local heros!

Zhengzhou and Hohhot driver at radio station

Zhengzhou and Hohhot driver at radio station

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Bonding with Shenzhen drivers

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Many taxi drivers from Shenzhen are very curious about their visiting colleagues from remote cities in China. They park their cars along side the others and come to have a chat.  They compare cars, fares, tanks, take pictures together and smoke eachothers cigarettes. (2nd from the right is Shenzhen driver)drivers-with-shenzhen-driver

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