Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of UIA 2014 Durban - Day 2

The second day brought with it some more amazing speakers.

The Student Lounge

Here are the main points from the keynote by Francis Kere

  • 'It is we that decide what happens with our cities.'
  • '98% of the Population in Burkina Faso build houses out of clay.'
  • 'Whatever you do, the user has another idea for the building.'
  • He built an Opera Stage in Africa for a client then it transformed into an Opera Village.
  • He believes that education is the key for Africa to develop
He received a standing ovation for his keynote.  

Next up we heard from Susannah Drake and these were her highlights:
  • 'My vision was to transform singular use spaces into multi-use spaces.'
  • 'People want recreation spaces.'
  • She showed us how water can be diverted in case of emergencies such as mass floods.
Next we heard from Kjetil Thorsen and these were the highlights:
  • Some of his designs include a keyless, windowless, doorless museum
  • He showed us how to design a farm on top of a shopping mall so as not to waste farm land

There are also many free events around the city and don't forget to stop by the Kwa Muhle Museum to see the Green Heart City Book and Design Boma.  Be sure to stop by for their lunch special of Chakalaka Bunny Chow.  They are there all week.

Look out for the interactive art displays at the conference. 

Be sure to see the mini film festival which is on the go at Coast of Dreams.   There are some wonderful documentaries with architecture themes.  Shows at 11am, 2pm and 6pm.  

One of the discoveries I found at the Expo section is that there is now a .archi web address exclusively for architects.  Pop by their stand or find out more at

There was also a book launch around the Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture.  You can find the book at The Book Lounge.  Sophia Gray was the first female architect.  She was self-taught and built mostly churches.
The Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture started with 40-50 people and now has 500-600 audience members. The next lecture is on 28th August in Bloemfontein.  

After Lunch I attended the Pecha Kucha session that students presented.  The themes were varied including creative spaces for Durban, homelessness in Australia and even contrasting spaces in Namibia

The last keynote of the day was by Rahul Tehrota and he showed us Mumbai and how the people live in the city and how festivals dominate this city.  'In buildings you don't need aircon everywhere,' stated Tehrota.

Find out more about UIA 2014 here -
#UIA2014 #otherwhere #architecture 

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