All roads lead to Durban for the 25th International Union of Architects World Congress which comes up between the 3rd-7th of August. This Congress will bring together architects, design and built environment professionals, pioneers in urban planning and thinking, activists, city makers, academics and researchers, students, government officials, decision makers and thought leaders, citizens and communities – to debate and discuss alternative strategies for the design and delivery of more habitable, functional and beautiful cities.
The theme ‘architecture OTHERWHERE‘, as well as the following sub-themes of Resilience, Economy and Values would be explored. With various sessions running simultaneously, specific areas of focus that relate to the congress theme and intentions would be covered.
Young professionals are not left out as an extensive student programme convened with the assistance of local architectural students, forms an integral part of the main event. This would give them the opportunity to meet and engage with students and professionals from around the world. A trade expo in the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) which promises to offer the latest product developments, technological innovations, and service offerings in the world of architecture and design would be opened to the general public.
UIA 2014 will be used as a launch pad for a three urban regeneration projects, which are starting to gain traction in the lead-up to the event. Each one focuses on stimulating interest in the built environment sector and focus on Durban’s inner city. These include:
- The activation of a section of Pixley Ka Seme Street (formerly West), showcasing what is possible with the creation of a high quality, pedestrian-priority public space – for people who live and work in the city to relax, exercise and play.
- The activation of the Rivertown Precinct provides an opportunity for regeneration in the inner city. Arts and culture initiatives and exhibitions will be run during the congress to show the opportunities that exist for bringing investment, sustainability and vibrancy back to the area.
- Pocket Parks – these projects aim to bring nature and delight back to the city, providing a place for relaxation, play areas for children and small spaces for activities, events or street cafes, where people can socialise, share laughter and conversation.
Keynote speakers include:
- Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso)
- Joe Osae-Addo (Ghana)
- Sindile Ngonyama (South Africa)
- Rahul Mehrotra (India)
- Cameron Sinclair (USA)
- Susannah Drake (USA)
- Gerardo Salinas (Mexico)
- Wang Shu (China)
- Dr. Mongane Wally Serote (South Africa)
- Toyo Ito (Japan)
- Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (Norway)