Dalang Fever 3 at the Urbanism Biennale in Shenzhen

INTI presents a project at the 8th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen: Dalang Fever 3. This project is a continuation of the research and exhibitions on the same area in Shenzhen, presented at two previous editions of the Biennale and curated by Linda Vlassenrood. This time, it is a cooperation with Het Nieuwe Instituut. Dalang Fever 3 is also part of the DATAstudio programme (2015 – 2019) of Het Nieuwe Instituut, which addresses the question of how data and technology can benefit citizens and neighbourhoods.

Dalang Fever 3.
How data can empower a migrant society

Under the lead of MIT professor Carlo Ratti the Biennale reflects on the consequences of digital technologies on daily urban life. In Shenzhen, which is in many ways a forerunner of the application of digital technologies in public space (a.o. facial recognition), people’s needs are rarely put at the centre of data collection. Dalang Fever 3. How data can empower a migrant society is a participatory research project aiming to understand the desires and needs of residents in Dalang, a rapidly transforming neighbourhood on the outskirts of Shenzhen.

Public space in Shi’Ao Village, Dalang Neighborhood, photo by Lard Buurman

Very little data – except from inaccessible user data – is available on the migrants living and working in this remote and often overlooked area. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the International New Town Institute (INTI) collaborated with Impact Hub Shenzhen to independently collect quantitative and qualitative data anonymously to provide genuine insights and a richer sense of the human interaction, needs and network in the area. The research team collected structural and semi-structural data from 350 people living and working in the research area of Dalang through interviews and online questionnaires.

Border between Shi’Ao Village and Xinweixincan Village, Dalang Neighborhood, photo by Lard Buurman

Dalang Fever 3 proposes the next steps for improving living conditions and the urban environment. A multidisciplinary data and design team with spatial and social expertise will analyse the collected data in a workshop at the Biennale, using their different lenses to propose improvements in Dalang. It will be an iterative process that questions the use of data in order to incorporate people’s needs into the continuous transformation of the area. How should we collect data and make it accessible? What spatial, organisational and digital transitions should be instigated?

Border between Shi’Ao Village and Xialingpai Village seen from Xinweixincan Village, Dalang Neighborhood, photo by Lard Buurman

Dalang Fever 3 consists of research, an exhibition and a workshop curated by Linda Vlassenrood (independent curator). The research has been conducted by Impact Hub Shenzhen (headed by Tat Lam). The exhibition design and graphics are developed by Koehorst in ‘t Veld.
Dalang Fever 3 is part of the Eyes of the City section curated by MIT professor Carlo Ratti (Chief Curator), Politecnico di Torino and SCUT (Academic Curators). Eyes of the City is one of the two main sections that form the 8th edition of UABB, dedicated to the overarching theme of Urban Interactions. The other main section, called Ascending Cities, is curated by the leading Chinese academician Meng Jianmin and the Italian art critic Fabio Cavallucci.

The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) takes places in Shenzhen, 21 December 2019 - March 2020. More information: https://www.archdaily.com/928899/the-shenzhen-and-hong-kong-2019-bi-city-biennale-reflects-on-technology-and-urban-life