'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi
'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi 'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi
dec 06, 2011

'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi

‘china builds’ by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi on shenzhen’s civic square image © designboom

‘china builds’, a project by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi is the biggest installation at the 2011 shenzhen & hong kong bi-city biennale of urbanism \ architecture.

found on roads and construction sites around the world, orange safety cones usually speak of danger and restriction of movement. they seek to recall our collective memory of physical risks but also suggest impending changes and ongoing development. the ‘china builds’ installation is made of toppled, precariously balanced toy-like cones, playfully and decoratively arranged in floral patterns. the largest and most ceremonial of its public spaces, shenzhen’s civic plaza is normally a vast somewhat inhospitable expanse that only comes to life at night as kids gracefully skate across it. echoing the skaters’ obstacle courses, thousands of the brightly colored, common objects form an open, welcoming composition that everyone is invited to enter and explore.

designboom visited civic square prior to the opening of the biennale and presents our readers a sneak preview. please stay tuned for more to come, we’ll report on the various events and lectures.

video © designboom

”china builds’ by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi on shenzhen’s civic square image © designboom

shenzhen’s civic square image © designboom

‘china builds’ by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi image © designboom

‘china builds’ by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi image © designboom

‘china builds’ by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi image © designboom

gustavo bonevardi and john bennett have worked together since 1996. though trained as architects, they have done computer animation, graphic design, and public sculpture, as well as architecture, winning various awards for their work. as artists, bonevardi and bennett formed part of the team that conceived and executed ‘tribute in light‘, the memorial of light commemorating the september 11th attacks on the world trade center. they currently live and work in new york city.

the 2011 SZHK biennale in shenzhen, china ran from december 8th through december 11th 2011. the scale of certain projects is such that the architect becomes not only a designer of buildings but also city planner and landscape architect and the shenzhen & hong kong bi-city biennale of urbanism \ architecture reflects this in its theme: architecture creates cities – cities create architecture. the SZHK biennale is the first to focus on urbanism as an ongoing theme to explore issues of the city as an active agent in contemporary culture. the program included more than 30 exhibitions, symposiums, panel discussions and performances. terence riley has been appointed chief curator (he is the first international curator for the event). the hong kong edition will work to complement the shenzhen biennale in an integrative way and is curated by gene king and anderson lee currently under preparation and due to open in february 2012. designboom is the principal international media partner of the SZHK biennale.

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,236 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample