Congress Themes: Architecture Otherwhere

In exploring OTHER ways of ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’, unlocking the multiple voices of Architecture, 2014 shall demonstrate that Architecture is as much spatial and formal as it is political, ideological, economical and theoretical – thus having the potential to influence thinking and policy. Having emerged from a century dominated by engineered, mechanised solutions and the marketing machinery of popular culture, we intend to revisit the qualitative aspects of the world around us and, in so doing, recognise that what we build is not only utilitarian but is, in fact, a humanitarian act; an investment in the environment and people through Architecture – reflecting people’s aspirations, values and concerns. Durban is a city in which these adjacencies find resonance and frame a deep and meaningful quest to enrich the relationship between Architects and the communities which they serve.

The Congress will ponder the OTHERwhere by exploring ANYwhere-but-HERE – it creates a vagueness and uncertainty – stimulating creative engagement with the title and dialectic between concepts of uncertainty and certainty by defining what kind of OTHERwhere – suggesting an alternative way of existing through connectivity, togetherness – in Durban, in South Africa, in Africa, on the planet; personally and collectively.

2014 will present architects and architecture as crucial in these debates; however it also emphasises that innovative solutions many times exit at the interface with OTHER disciplines – therefore 2014 offers the platform to engage with a variety of OTHER professions and professionals in an interactive and exciting broader debate.

The selected keynote speakers will be invited to engage with OTHERS through dialogue and experiential events. They will include African intellectuals who are thinking about Africa’s future, leaders in architectural innovation, experts on co-produced cities and concepts of emergence, thinkers on ecology and evolution – filmmakers, writers, music, slum dwellers, government, artists, practicing and academic architects…

2014 announces a completely different paradigm of how to operate, a new value proposition – it repositions the future and brings alternative ways of existence into the conversation. 2014 announces a new contract of humans on planet.