This year, the Architecture ZA festival (#AZA18) is inviting all those engaged with the built environment to be part of a call for participatory action around how we shape our cities collectively.
As our cities evolve in response to global urbanization and climate change, new opportunities are being created toward compact cities, improved resource consumption, economic and social dynamism, market creation, human development and climate change adaptation. Cities need to be sustainable, adaptive and diverse in order to be more resilient in the face of such new scenarios.
Under the theme ‘WeTheCity: Memory & Resilience’, the #AZA18 programme will focus on issues of design and practice concerning environmental potential, cultural heritage and human settlement – with South African architectural, urban and cultural producers sharing experiences and perspectives with cutting-edge international practices from around the world.
Speakers and delegates will engage around different scenarios of change as to how we live, interact, and survive both as individuals and as part of a collective, within the urban environment. The programme will centre around ‘Resilience’ as the ability of a system to absorb, or recover from, certain disturbances without losing its ability to function; and ‘Memory’ as the phenomena that imbue a place with meaning. Given the rapidly changing roles of design professionals, the term ‘WeTheCity’ is both a proclamation and a provocation, implying a call for participatory action around how we shape our cities collectively.
The programme will include keynote presentations, parallel sessions, student design sessions, films, and professional practice sessions. Confirmed international speakers to date include Enrique Browne, one of the most prolific Chilean architects and co-founder of Browne & Swett Arquitectos in Santiago; award-winning architect and principal of the design studio sP+a in Mumbai, Sameep Padora; Mexican architect, Gabriela Carrillo, who was voted winner of the 2017 “Women in Architecture” Award by prominent international magazines The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal; and the young Cameroonian architect, Hermann Kamte, winner of the WAFX Awards 2017-Cultural Identity prize. Rising star UK-based architect, Peter Barber, will also present his ground-breaking work focused on mixed-use and housing.
#AZA18 will present a series of inspiring exhibitions including the prestigious international LafargeHolcim Foundation Sustainable Construction Awards for the Africa Region; UP’s Department of Architecture 75th Birth Year exhibition; an Urban+Trans+Formation exhibition; the Corobrik SAIA Awards of Excellence & Merit; the Ceasarstone Competition exhibition; and the PPC Imaginarium and Fuch’s Students’ Competitions exhibitions.
#AZA18 will be held at 012Central in the Pretoria inner city from 3-5 May 2018. Presented and hosted by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP), this three-day festival comprises two days of conference presentations and one day of tours and masterclasses. Members of the public, students, designers and artists, urban thinkers, economists, and all built environment professionals are encouraged to attend.