In the context of the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership and the annual EU-China Urbanisation Forum, the European Commission, the EU Committee of the Regions and the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) jointly organised an exhibition to showcase best practices of urban development in both countries. Urbanlogic was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to develop an exhibition design that was to reflect both the GIZ’s expertise in sustainable urbanisation and their contribution to the EU-German-Chinese partnership.
On our booth, the Sino-EU-German cooperation is represented as a “City of Ideas”- a 3-dimensional matrix, in which the vertical dimension is a series of info columns (the “buildings”), each of which displays one of the sustainability-related “sectors” of the collaboration. Just like in a real city, in which the activities that happen in the buildings are connected by a network of streets, the horizontal dimension represents the cross-cutting areas of the cooperation.
Inspired by short presentations in the “speaker’s corner”, we invited our guests to map their ideas for future bilateral collaboration projects onto the existing “sector” columns, as well- in the case of new topics which are not yet represented by any of the existing columns- onto their seats and a dedicated area on the side wall. As projects and topics are added, the topic of sustainable urbanisation is visualised as the “City of Ideas” grows. Thus the booth becomes an initially incomplete social sculpture, which in the course of the exhibition will be completed interactively by the visitors.
Among the displayed bilateral cooperation projects are projects implemented by the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH” on behalf of the German government, such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as well as projects by GIZ’s co-exhibitors- the Hanseatic City of Bremen and the Deutsche Energieagentur (DENA).
In the booth’s speaker’s corner, many of the actors involved in bilateral cooperation were given voice and visitors were invited to share their views and ideas through a comprehensive programme of short presentations, films, discussions, interviews and other interactive elements.