Connections, diversity, integration, resilience, sustainability, accountability and humility. These are the precepts that will guide the dynamic, challenging and inspiring conversation at UIA 2014 Durban.
Against the backdrop of this diverse and multi-layered city, UIA 2014 Durban invites practitioners, academics, designers and students from all disciplines involved with city making to contribute to a unique debate on human settlements and the evolution of cities.
The Congress theme, ‘ARCHITECTURE OTHERWHERE’, will celebrate diversity by exploring other communities, other regions, other disciplines, and other ways of thinking about, practising and teaching in the built environment. The intention is to acknowledge the built environment as a major force that may be harnessed towards a better life for all – through the sub-themes RESILIENCE, ECOLOGY and VALUES.
Please download the full brief for information and instructions.
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 31ST OCTOBER 2013
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Welcome to UIA2014 in Durban
On the twentieth anniversary of South Africa’s re-birth, the UIA Congress will celebrate the African profession as a meaningful contributor to world architecture and thought leadership in city development; as well as the continent’s contribution in the affairs and evolution of architecture globally.
Architects, engineers, designers, technologists, planners, thinkers and writers from all over the world will gather, with the public, for a week of lively and challenging talks, workshops, events and happenings.
ABOUT THE DURBAN ICC
The Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world and has the largest area of column-free, flat-floor, multi-purpose space in Africa. The ICC has been named Africa's Leading Conference Centre for the past 10 years by the World Travel Award and has been voted among the top 20 conference centres in the world by the AIPC. The Durban ICC is fully air-conditioned and comprises six convention halls. Halls 1-3 are classic convention and meetings spaces while halls 4-6 double as convention and meeting spaces, and as the flat floor space for the ICC Arena which accommodates up to 10,000 spectators.
UIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
8 - 10 August
3 - 7 August
UIA2014 World Congress in South Africa
UIA 2014 will bring architects from around the world to debate their common concerns and interests – through an unashamedly African lens. African knowledge, African challenges and African opportunities will enter into a dialogue with the world.
South Africa’s concerns are strongly linked to Africa’s concerns. 2014 acknowledges the link between urgent human need for housing, infrastructure, basic services, employment and social development are acknowledged as being strongly linked to political decisions and economies. UIA 2014 is an opportunity for African architects to make their mark in the debate that perceives poverty eradication as a first unavoidable step in human progress. 2014 will explore how architects might play a pivotal role in addressing social inequalities. 2014 also explores concepts of sustainability through links to OTHER global initiatives and refers to COP 17 (Built Environment Charter) and RIO+20 (Soil Programme) – with a focus on urbanisation and the agricultural opportunities in and on the peripheries of cities.
A UIA congress in Africa is an opportunity – the ideologies we have lived by in the last 100 years have done their time and failed, the models aspired to in development are questionable – could we find alternative values in Africa? Could we re-discover a lost respect and responsibility for our natural environment, commitment to our communities, healthy social interaction? This is a continent which has developed as others saw fit – now is the time for Africa to lead in anOTHER way forward…
2014 will present alternative views of the OTHER, challenging false readings and architectural hegemonies. In 2014, African space will be recognised and communicated in a language that is accessible to people of the continent – Architecture will be presented as a construct of our own vocabulary – Africans will be recognised as equals in defining space. Africa has great consciousness of the interconnected nature of things – every action has a consequence. This is a consciousness that needs to be shared with world – bringing greater wisdom to international architectural practice.
Conference Theme: Architecture Otherwhere
In exploring OTHERways of ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’, unlocking the multiple voices of Architecture, 2014 shall demonstrate that Architecture is as much spatial and formal as it is political, ideological, economical and theoretical – thus having the potential to influence thinking and policy. Having emerged from a century dominated by engineered, mechanised solutions and the marketing machinery of popular culture, we intend revisit the qualitative aspects of the world around us and, in so doing, recognise that what we build is not only utilitarian but is, in fact, an humanitarian act; an investment in the environment and people through Architecture – reflecting people’s aspirations, values and concerns. Durban is a city in which these adjacencies find resonance and frame a deep and meaningful quest to enrich the relationship between Architects and the communities which they serve.
The congress will ponder the OTHERwhere by exploring ANYwhere-but-HERE – it creates a vagueness and uncertainty – stimulating creative engagement with the title and dialectic between concepts of uncertainty and certainty by defining what kind of OTHERwhere – suggesting an alternative way of existing through connectivity, togetherness – in Durban, in South Africa, in Africa, on the planet; personally and collectively.
2014 will present architects and architecture as crucial in these debates; however it also emphasises that innovative solutions many times exit at the interface with OTHER disciplines – therefore 2014 offers the platform to engage with a variety of OTHER professions and professionals in an interactive and exciting broader debate.
The selected keynote speakers will be invited to engage with OTHERS through dialogue and experiential events. They will include African intellectuals who are thinking about Africa’s future, leaders in architectural innovation, experts on co-produced cities and concepts of emergence, thinkers on ecology and evolution – filmmakers, writers, music, slum dwellers, government, artists, practicing and academic architects…
2014 announces a completely different paradigm of how to operate, a new value proposition – it repositions the future and brings alternative ways of existence into the conversation. 2014 announces a new contract of humans on planet.
The conference theme of OTHERWHERE – looking elsewhere for other ways of creating a better future – is to be explored in several, carefully selected, sub-themes and theme ideas that acknowledge the role of architecture as thought leadership.
The first sub-theme is to be investigated through the ideas of TIME, EVOLUTION AND RIO+20.
This sub-theme acknowledges the role of the architect in a bigger, interlinked, and systemic network – thus encouraging a longer term view in the design of the built environment. The UIA congress is to be held for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa against a backdrop of a potential peak in fossil fuel energy and unpredictable climate change; economic downturn and a new appreciation for planetization as opposed to globalisation. The consideration of the 4th dimension of time in design and decision-making is perceived to be crucial to future practice of architecture. The link with global initiatives makes this of high relevance to all architects. Resilience
The second sub-theme is explored through the ideas of EMERGENCE, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, THE SPATIAL ECONOMY.
The discourse of the city is an integral component of the architectural discourse. This is due to our custodianship of the natural environment as the global apex predator and because of our unparalleled ability to change the environment, intentionally or not. This second sub-theme explores notions of resilience through developed life strategies by communities, critical interventions that contribute to poverty alleviation and the important role of government, and government investment towards the re-configuring of the spatial economy to the benefit of all. While some of these ideas will delve into South African problems and solutions, their significance is immense for all architects and development practitioners globally. The congress will include joint workshops between communities and government agencies as platforms for understanding and active engagement. Values
The third and final sub-theme for UIA 2014 will be investigated through approaches to PRACTICE AND TEACHING.
2014 will explore approaches to practice in Africa – it intends to instil new values, new relationship to planet, humility, sense of respect through diversity. The agency of external donors needs to be tempered to benefit local inhabitants – who are currently being excluded from their own self-determination. Combined learning opportunities for communities and architects will to organised where professional values will be re-assessed and methods and techniques for profession engagement will be developed and the ethics of practice will be fully interrogated.
Durban as Host City
The congress will showcase Durban and how it articulates itself… it will present architectural solutions that have been discovered and developed; it will present Durban’s experience and show both the successes and failures over the last 20 years in post-Apartheid South Africa. 2014 will show how Durban functions as city, how it excels at low-tech solutions and integrating the third economy in urban solutions.
2014 will be an exciting platform for experiential engagement through various mediums including art in public space, catalyst interventions and combined learning forums. 2014 will go into the city, into townships, informal areas and spaza shops, fully involving the OTHER, the lay(wo)man and the proximate neighbourhood. It will extend out to the peripheries and will bring the peripheries to the venue through representatives and through live video streaming projected throughout the congress venue.
The congress will engage the city as it is, and seek to contribute to it. As part of the legacy of 2014, public gathering spaces will be created, spaces where things can happen – concepts of pavement-isation will be explored as well as ideas of social cohesion through urban space and space-making, involving many people, from diverse agencies, to have broad impact.
The ICC in Durban will therefore become the centre of a web that radiates out and draws in. Architects will consult, communities will lobby for recognition, students and teachers will engage in joint educational events, tours will happen in both directions – radiating in and out of the ICC. 2014 delegates are involved as thinkers rather than an audience – tours will leave daily from the ICC in Durban (walking, public transport, bicycles etc) and will come in daily into the ICC (from townships, informal settlements, the city centre, universities, schools, etc). Real and virtual links will be established in a continuous conversation – within the city, between cities and globally – teaching, learning and exchange, opportunities created between the profession and the OTHER.
Congress participants will be active participants and contributors through the various on- and off-site activities – it is conceived as a truly inclusive event bringing together architects, community and government. The congress itself is treated as 'research' about defined themes – offering delegates an enhanced and deepened awareness of the themes and sub-themes – and the delegates will have actively contributed to the development of the themes – in a process conceived as an integral part of the legacy of UIA 2014.
For the first time, the UIA Congress will establish a legacy program, which will give the event more impact and significance in its outcomes.
The program is to be initiated in parallel with the event preparation and includes local, national and continent wide initiatives. It is recognised that legacy programs need to be germane to the congress subject, need to be in line with the objective of the agencies collaborating and instituting the projects, and need to be self-sustaining in the long run.
The legacy projects proposed will focus on developing initiatives which stimulate interest in the built environment sector, the location focus in the Durban inner-city, and initiate mechanisms for skill development through office based learning.
OFFICE BASED LEARNING PROGRAM
South Africa is currently experiencing a shortage of Professional Architects (Pr.Arch.) needed to deal with the building needs of the country. This initiative seeks to facilitate the training of architectural graduates (3 year Architecture Bachelor’s degrees, B.Tech, or Technologists and Draughtspersons with architectural experience) within the system who are seeking to become Professional Architects.
Initially the program will only address post-graduate architecture students, but will expand later into under-graduate studies. The study course is a part-time work integrated program that is based on a three way agreement between the accredited learning site, the professional Architectural mentor in practice and the student.
SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM:
Schools are expected to provide an increasing number and range of learning experiences for their students. The aim of this program is to inform school-going children at high school level about career opportunities in the built environment. Architecture, particularly within rural schools, is not well-known and it is from this segment of the community that tertiary education sites have the least number of learners. The program aims to educate students on the entry requirements for enrolling in architecture at any tertiary institution, including processes for accessing of financial resources.
This program dovetails with the office based learning program, as it widens the net from which students can be drawn. It is expected that the office based learning program will fund this initiative on an ongoing basis once it becomes sustainable.
It is envisaged that this program will be extended to primary school learners in due course, particularly in partnering with educators in the mathematics and science fields.
DURBAN CATALYST DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM:
To be initiated in conjunction with the City’s architecture department and Durban Invest. The municipality’s most significant rates-base is located in the inner-city. The movement of business out of the city has resulted in a derelict building stock and a neglect of assets. A lasting legacy for Durban resides in instituting mechanisms that re-invigorate and re-purpose assets in the inner-city.
For more information visit the official event page