Welcome to Architecture ‘Otherwhere’!
An overwhelming sense of excitement and pride that UIA2014 Durban had finally opened in Durban was felt throughout the ICC campus on Monday 4 August.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the South African architectural profession and a special time for South Africa in general in terms of cities, spaces and design,” said Hassan Asmal, President of the Local Organisation Committee UIA2014 Durban. “Through the scientific programme, trade exhibition and numerous fringe events the social, cultural, historical and urban fabric of Durban is being showcased. The success of the first few days, is farbeyond our wildest dreams”.
Registration for the UIA2014 Congress opened a year ago, academics and professionals from the fields of architecture, built environment and urban planning were encouraged to attend and engage with their contemporaries from around the world. Registration numbers slowly gained momentum as news of the upcoming congress spread through professional and social networks. This culminated in close to 5000 delegates, including over 1500 students, from 104 countriesdescendingon the ICC and DEC for the five-day event.
South African speaker and the‘architect’ of the word ‘Otherwhere’ Hilton Judin, set the tone for the themes of Resilience, Ecology and Values and prepped the audience of around 4000, for what was in store over the next four days. Keynote speakers Toyo Ito and Cameron Sinclair were greeted with resounding applause on day one.
The moving and well-received Opening Ceremony evoked a sense of pride in the profession and in the country, for pulling off an amazing event. Architecture is firmly back on the agenda for government and private partnerships, as well as for the city of Durban. Entertainment throughout the day was provided by the Durban Gospel Choir, Flatfoot Dance Company and the Township Brass Band, as delegates soaked up the Durban sunshine and spaces on the Congress campus.
The energy and momentum of UIA2014 Durban is growing as the international architects Congress goes into its third day.Feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive, praising the slick organisation and high quality of the academic papers, speakersand the exhibitions.
The relaxed Durban vibe and convivial atmosphere has permeated every aspect of the Congress, from the highbrow activities in the ICC to the Warwick Street traders in Walnut Road and the high-tech exhibits in the Durban Exhibition Centre.
An exciting and inspiring school outreach programme, convened and run by the student committee, gave over 100 learners from disadvantaged areas the opportunity to learn aboutarchitectureand the skills needed to study in built environment professions, before taking part in a drawing and model-building workshop. In addition, the Murray & Roberts Des Baker Awards judging took place today, with the winners being announced tomorrow. Speakers Francis Kere from Burkino Faso and Rahul Mehrotra from India dazzled their audiences with their keynote addresses and extraordinary vision of‘architecture OTHERWHERE’.
UIA2014 Durban thus far, has prompted intellectual debate and has put Africa’s perspective of architecture and the built environment on the world stage. The outcomes and legacy of the Congress look to leave a lasting impression on the façade of Durban.
For more information or to register for the Congress visit
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