Congress Sub-Themes

Resilience

The first 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 first 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.

Ecology

The second 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.

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.

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.