'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi

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

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

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

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

'china builds' by john bennett & gustavo bonevardi ‘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.

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