Exploring Resilience and Innovation at AZA18

by Ofentse Sefolo
Exploring Resilience and Innovation at AZA18

From 3-5 May 2018, #AZA18 will be exploring the journey towards sustainable, adaptive and integrated cities that can respond to growing social, economic and environmental challenges, under the theme ‘WeTheCity: Memory & Resilience’.

The role of architects in the built environment is being increasingly highlighted as new opportunities are created towards improved resource consumption, economic and social dynamism, market creation, human development and climate change adaptation.

Sponsored by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), PPC and Boogertman + Partners, AZA18 offers an important platform for engaging around solutions and ideas that are regenerative, adaptive and diverse in the face of these new scenarios – in discussion with some of architecture’s key thinkers and practitioners.

Creating Potential for Action

Young Cameroonian architect, Hermann Kamte, is principal of HKA | Hermann Kamte & Associates in Yaoundé. The firm’s vision is to bring a new dynamic to, and appreciation of, African Architecture, by proposing innovative solutions for sustainable cities in order to address major challenges around rapid population growth, inadequate housing and homelessness. Kamte says, “It is essential to show that, with a robust structural process, a city can regenerate itself because it consists of a range of assets. The goal is to propose an alternative vision for the future of fast growing cities by integrating diverse cultural influences and sustainable systems.”

studioMAS’s Heidi Boulanger is motivated by the ability to create spaces that will be experienced by countless future users. At #AZA18, she will present her work in Soshanguve, Tshwane, entitled ‘Brick(work)s’, which won the LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Architecture (Next Generation) in 2017. She explains, “The project proposes community-centred urbanism and architecture in Soshanguve generated using principles of urban acupuncture, incremental building and regenerative design, with the message that sustainable design should no longer be considered a ‘field’ but rather an imperative in design.”

Exploring Local Experiences and Social Practices

As Professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Brasília, Maria Fernanda Derntl is concerned with how urban design is shaped by local experiences and social practices. Her current work deals with the history and representations of Brasília, particularly its peripheral settlements. She believes that the work of architectural professionals should participate in the social processes of constructing cities; and looks forward to #AZA18 as a unique opportunity for exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge.

Experiencing Brazilian Cities
Photo: Eduardo Rossetti

Dr Emmanuel Nkambule is senior lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology and an adjudicator for the 2017/2018 AfriSam-SAIA Awards for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation. In 2015, he contributed to the drafting of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and he collaborates with various practices as a conceptualist and strategist. As a panellist for ‘Modernist Heritage and Re-imagining the Inner City’, Dr Nkambule will focus on ‘African Urban Spaces: The Narrative of an Immigrant’ in combination with the discussion around contested heritage, issues on rights to the city, and shifting demographics in the inner city.

Architecture – A Spatial Discipline

As co-founder of Lemon Pebble Architects, Tanzeem Razak is inspired by the ability of architecture to make a tangible difference in people’s lives through the transformation of everyday spaces. She believes that the real focus of architectural professionals should be on innovation within the broader landscape beyond the site, to design spaces that are connected and creative. As a panellist in the ‘Modernist Heritage and Reimagining of the Inner City’ seminar at #AZA18, she will be sharing her interest and experience in social justice and spatial transformation.

Dr Carin Combrinck heads up the research field of Human Settlements and Urbanism at the University of Pretoria. In her presentation of ‘Mamelodi [RE]Scripted’, she will convey the value that the spatial discipline of architecture can bring to bear on the shared story of our country, beyond the first chapter of democracy. She says, “We hope, through this visual rendition of theses done over a ten-year period, to instil some of the hope that underpins the work produced by our students and to illicit a provocation to participate across more sectors of society so that we can assume a more significant role in our emerging cities.”

Leadership in Innovation

Anthony Orelowitz’s core expertise at Paragon is as design director and project principal on complex and fast-track projects that rely on cost engineering and workshopped construction solutions. Committed to driving leadership in innovation and with design and value engineering as his core skills, he works with the Paragon team to ensure cost-efficient delivery of technically complex architectural solutions such as Sasol Place and Alice Lane in Sandton, Johannesburg – which he will present as cutting-edge case studies at #AZA18.

Proposing leading energy solutions to support architecture, ‘Energy 4.0 – The City Lifeline: South African examples of Energy Systems in a cyber-physical world’ will be co-presented by Henning Holm and Wally Weber. With legislation setting a minimum standard, Holm and Weber believe that innovative designers must look for optimum solutions which will stand the test of time; and consider how to change design methodologies and capitalize on the opportunities in energy.

With a particular interest in interrogating the strategic parameters and implications of a design early on in the process, Reon van der Wiel of Activate Architecture will be discussing how the practice pursued wholistic and efficient solutions at Kimberley’s Sol Plaatje University Student Residence in order to ensure high performance architecture and transcend the client’s brief.

Sol Plaatje University Student Residence
Photo: Tristan McLaren


Continuing Professional Development at #AZA18

Hosted by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), Architecture ZA furthers SAIA’s vision of providing a collective voice serving the interests of architectural professionals in pursuit of excellence and responsible design; and of positioning South African architectural professionals as authoritative leaders in the built environment.

Co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), #AZA18 is a not-to-be-missed event with a flexible and affordable programme that includes keynote presentations, professional practice sessions, student design sessions, films, workshops, walking tours, and a series of inspiring exhibitions and awards – all at Pretoria’s most exciting inner-city venue, 012central.

Registered Architectural Professionals attending the two-day Conference will be awarded one Category One CPD Credit for each full day of attendance. Master Classes and Tours will carry additional Category One CPD Credits.

Book your place at www.architectureza.org.

@architectureZA ‏

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