Proposal for Shenzhen Architecture Biennale 2008-2009

In our work practices, we have always been dealing with temporary architecture:
temporary installations, temporary pavilions, temporary transformations of spaces have been the object of many A12’s projects.
Nevertheless, temporary architecture is a complex and often elusive concept. It cannot be easily defined in a fixed and unique way, without linking it to the architectural, social and cultural traditions of different countries. In western culture, temporary architecture has always represented the possibility to experiment innovative technological solutions; to test different spatial configurations; to work on the contraposition with the permanence of signs that have built the city trough the centuries; to practice a design dimension free from constrains; to answer faster and more immediately to the emerging needs of inhabitants….
Although globalization processes and the growing diffusion of information have interbreed traditions and made easier cultural changes and cross-contaminations between cultures, relevant differences still resist. Even in the case of temporary architecture.
So, what is temporary architecture in Shenzhen and in Hong Kong? Are there any specificities, compared to other situations? What about, there, the concept, the meaning, the role of temporarity ? What about the duration of buildings, the social impact of their replacement, the relation between temporary spaces and temporary uses, till to the concept of time?
These will be some of the main questions at the base of our project for the Shenzhen Architectural Biennial, aimed to investigate the issue of temporary architecture through the mobilization of different kind of people.
In two ways: asking to experts from all over the word (architects, urban planners, artists) and to Shenzhen and Hong Kong inhabitants (students, common people) to send us reflections, texts, pictures, visions, or other ever materials in order to create a sort of temporary architecture archive; realizing a temporary laboratory in a public space that will contain the result of our survey, but that will also host, during the Biennial workshops and events about temporarity.