For years, Hong Kong has constantly been considered as the world’s most competitive economy. While its high degree of economic freedom might be of interest for people overseas, it probably is not the case for locals. For us who rooted for this place, how the city can be improved and progressed will be our main concern. Our team believes the key lies in how current and future generations imagine and envision the city. Through IMAGINATION, we can place creative and forward-thinking demands in the city; INNOVATION will enable out-of-the-box advances to fulfil these demands while TECHNOLOGY can be the medium to bridge the two and unlock the possibilities.

2 x 2:
Imagine to Innovate

With the theme “2 x 2: Imagine to Innovate”, 2019 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture will focus on exploring new proposals and experiments that can bring positive changes to the city. ‘2 x 2’ reflects the duality of the biennale encompassing similarities and contrasts between Hong Kong and Shenzhen; it also symbolizes a large number of possibilities like a 2x2x2 Rubik’s cube which can be permutated. Ultimately, ‘2 x 2’ is about dual qualities by dual dimensions – a crossover between Imagination and Innovation x Space and Time.

Three critical urbanist subjects – IDENTITY, LIVEABILITY and SUSTAINABILITY will be the sub-themes of the biennale. We challenge the typical IDENTITY of Hong Kong, encourage innovative ways of establishing, projecting and imagining the identity with the use of the latest technology. We regard LIVEABILITY as an exploratory awareness to achieve quality living space and opportunity in the city, rather than a cautious approach to surviving. We view SUSTAINABILITY as a main criterion in building healthier city together. In the exhibition, these themes shall overlap each other to create a holistic picture for interpretation.


From Conservative to Evolutionary

Identity is a core value in humanity and cultural advancement. The appreciation of our city’s identity requires the understanding of our heritage, culture and context. Adding imagination to existing impressions of the city enable us to project our current identity creatively to a wider audience. It also allows us to explore future possibilities that would further enhance the city’s image. The curatorial team aims to cultivate the public’s interest and understanding of our identity through interactive and engaging programmes. For the exhibition, we emphasise to encourage innovative ways of establishing, projecting and imagining the city’s identity with the use of the latest technology. IDENTITY is the most important sub-theme in the 2 x 2 spider web as it gives the ground for LIVEABILITY and SUSTAINABILITY to grow with the locality.


From Cautious to Exploratory

Liveability in the old days might refer to basic livable conditions, a cautious approach to surviving. Today, it means more than survival, but an exploratory awareness to achieve quality living space and opportunity in the city. The urban area of Hong Kong has an exceptionally high density, and it is hard to make it livable without innovative solutions. Revealing how technology can help in evaluating the need, the living pattern and the response from the citizens will be crucial in this sub-theme. When the liveability of our city is assessed, can a wider spectrum be studied - from private to public spaces, and from separation to connectivity? Exhibitions and programmes to experiment and demonstrate multi-disciplinary proposals to improve our city’s liveability will be the core.


From Ernest to Radical

Sustainability determines the future of our city and the world. The balance between environmental, social and economic development directly affects how the city can survive in the flux of global changes. The curatorial team truly believes that sustainability is a process rather than an end-product. Through imagination, we will be placing our value on the goal of being sustainable to build a healthier city together, rather than finding sustainability as a goal in itself.

In recent years, the relationship between digital technology and environmental sustainability is demonstrated by the application of artificial intelligence and robotics. Our focus is to present inventive ways and the latest technological development that help to achieve a better-built environment. We are looking for programmes that encourage the public and young generations to understand our responsibility to make positive changes. For the exhibitions, our objective is to showcase radical ideas on sustainable design by imaging how the future would be, with the latest innovations on construction materials and technology. The concept of smart cities will also be explored through the systems of infrastructure and transportation.

  • Identity

  • Liveability

  • Sustainability