Architecture OTHERWHERE celebrates World Architecture Day

In celebration of World Architecture Day, the UIA 2014 Durban Congress has announced seven high-profile luminaries who will be speaking at the event.

“We are tremendously excited by this line up of renowned speakers from different regions around the world,” says UIA 2014 President, Hassan Asmal. “Each of the speakers has contributed in a meaningful way to both the profession of architecture and society as a whole, and we believe that their presence will be invaluable to furthering the conversations that we are planning around critical built environment issues in South Africa, Africa, and the world.”

From Africa, the Congress will welcome Francis Kéré (Burkino-Faso / Germany), Joe Osae-Addo (Ghana), and President of the South African Institute of Architects, Sindile Ngonyama. Speakers from other regions are Rahul Mehrotra (India), Cameron Sinclair (UK / USA), Susannah Drake (USA), and Gerardo Salinas (Mexico).

In addition, a number of parallel sessions at the ICC will cover specific areas of focus that relate to the Congress theme and intentions. These include the role of Built Environment Professionals in Spatial Transformation; Sustainable Human(e) Settlements; Housing and Healthcare (sustainable architecture under conditions of change); Open Building; and Addressing Informality through Design Education and Practice.

The Call for Abstracts for these sessions will close on 31 October 2013.

At the Congress media briefing on 17 September, UIA President, Albert Dubler, commented, “One of our South African colleagues has stated that the developed world has “invented” the crisis; and that only Africa will provide solutions to this crisis. We have already perceived some of the solutions, and we want to know more. Twenty years of Democracy have brought your country back to the global community. It's time now for the rest of the world to experience all these changes on site.”

UIA 2014 Durban Speakers at a glance:

Born in Gando, a small village in Burkina Faso, Francis Kéré studied architecture in Berlin where he then founded his office Kéré Architecture and the non-profit association Schulbausteine für Gando. The main focus of his work is on the use and development of local materials and techniques; the adaptation of new technology in simple ways; and the potential of local communities.

Trained at the Architectural Association in London, Joe Osae-Addo is the CEO of Constructs R+D, an ‘innov-native’ (TM) research and development company and the Chairman of ArchiAfrika Foundation, a non-profit organisation engaged in the promotion of African design and architecture.

Sindile Ngonyama is the principal director of Ngonyama Okpanum and Associates, which focusses on projects in basic education, higher education, primary healthcare facilities, large scale hospital projects, rural community service centres, large scale transportation and sporting facilities. He is the current President of the South African Institute of Architects.

Rahul Mehrotra, architect and educator, works in Mumbai and teaches at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he is Professor of Urban Design and Planning, and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design as well as a member of the steering committee of Harvard’s South Asia Initiative.

Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and 'chief eternal optimist' (CEO) for Architecture for Humanity, and co-author of the bestselling book ‘Design Like You Give A Damn’. He is a recipient of the TED prize, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council (2011) and an advisor at USAID.

Susannah Drake is the Principal of DLANDSTUDIO in the USA, a multi-disciplinary design firm that reinvents and retrofits urban infrastructure to make it more ecologically productive. In 2013 Drake was honored with the Emerging Voices Award by the New York Architectural League; Urban Design Fellowship from the Design Trust for Public Space; and the Brunner & Young Architect Award from the AIA.

Gerardo Salinas studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and is currently a partner of Rojkind Arquitectos, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and a member of the Mexican College of Architects. In 2008, Salinas was named Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects’ Denver Chapter.

UIA 2014 Durban takes place from 3-7 August 2014. Registration for the Congress has opened, and more information can be found on