UIA World Congress Reveals Architecture’s Other Side

Rahul Mehrotra’s designs for an office building in Hyderabad exemplify the social agenda of architecture which dominated discussions at this year’s World Congress. Image © Carlos Chen

With the (UIA)’s World Congress taking place last month, the eyes of the architecture world were on South Africa where – according to Phineas Harper of the Architectural Review - the conference was full of architects of all backgrounds with “irrepressible energy,” sharing ideas on how architecture can be used for social good with an urgency that is somewhat unfamiliar in the Western world. ”Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in Durban,” says Harper. You can read the full review of the event here.

Harper’s review also singles out the “electrifying” keynote speech of Rahul Mehrotra, who explained how he used his architecture to bridge social and cultural gaps while still serving his clients’ needs, in projects such as his Hyderabad offices. You can see him discuss these ideas in our interview with Mehrotra here:

AD Interviews: Rahul Mehrotra / RMA Architects

Rio de Janeiro selected to host UIA 2020 World Congress of Architects

Courtesy of 2020rio.org

has been selected to host World Congress of Architects UIA 2020, one of the world’s most important architecture forums. The news was announced yesterday by one of the UIA’s former presidents and current Secretary of the Session, Vassils Sgoutas, during the General Assembly of this year’s congress in Durban, South Africa. Rio’s application was spearheaded by Brazil’s most important architecture institution – Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB). The South American city beat out two strong candidates: Melbourne and Paris.

After the presentations of the three candidate cities, two rounds of voting began. In the first round Rio got 85 votes, against Melbourne’s 73 votes and Paris’ 44 votes. In the second round Rio beat Melbourne with 107 votes against 95. 

A Star-Studded Speaker Lineup for UIA’s World Congress 2014

In August of this year, the International Union of Architects (UIA) will once again host their World Congress, a triennial event that focuses on one critical topic in our architectural culture. Whereas the Tokyo 2011 Congress was focused on the future, this year’s congress in Durban will concentrate not on a different time but a different place: the “otherwhere”, or as they put it, the “anywhere-but-here”. The Congress will explore ideas about how connectivity might shape our experience and alter the course of our social progress.

Read on for more about the themes of the 25th World Conference and the Keynote Speakers…

UIA’s “Healthcare Otherwhere” Student Competition

The UIA (International Union of Architects) is inviting architecture students to enter its “Healthcare Otherwhere” competition, part of their World Congress in Durban, this summer. Against a backdrop of poor health outcomes caused by poverty, the competition challenges students to propose how architecture might be involved in promoting good health by designing a building in the Warwick Junction area of . Registration has been extended to April 17th. You can register here.

Architecture Otherwhere – Durban 2014

On the twentieth anniversary of ’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.

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.

La Lucia / SAOTA

© Karl Beath

Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: ,
Project Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Patrick Ferguson, Stefan Antoni
Interior Decor: Antoni Associates
Project Team: Mark Rielly, Ashleigh Gilmour, Staci Kinnes
Completion: 2011
Photographs: Karl Beath