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The Architecture of Place

A collaboration between INTBAU, the ICAA & the Prince’s Foundation.

INTBAU, the ICAA, and the Prince’s Foundation are pleased to announce a collaborative series of high-level online talks on ‘The Architecture of Place’.

Perhaps now more than ever before, we are all aware of the built environment that surrounds us, and of the impacts it has on the health of individuals, communities, and the planet. The Architecture of Place series will bring together the established and emerging voices working to create a better built future.

Running from October through December, this series of six lectures and discussions will be open and accessible to all, with a focus on students and young practitioners across the world. Each program in The Architecture of Place series will be hosted via Zoom and introduced by Michael Lykoudis, Dean Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, and will be free and open for public registration.

You can find out more about the talks in the series on the ICAA’s website here.

INTBAU would like to thank its supporters for this series, Fairfax & SammonsADAM Architecture, and Size Group.

Additional thanks to The Benton Family Foundation for its generous support of the ICAA for this lecture series.

Additional thanks to the Prince’s Foundation’s supporter, Mr Paul Beirne.

Past Lectures:

The Architecture of Place: Florida, Atlanta, and Al Ain with Scott Merrill

Monday, October 19, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT / 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM BST

This talk focusses on local forces that influence design, like climate, or the skills of the labour force, or the proximity of materials, or local culture; and larger forces–regional, national, and global–that are in constant tension with local forces. The goal of the talk is to help architects find a good balance between all these competing considerations, but it also addresses a question many of us face, which is whether we have the right–or the professional standing–to work in far-flung places that we don’t know as well as we know our own backyards.

Watch the recording here

Health and Urbanisation: Creating Healthy Cities

Monday October 26 at 14:00 EDT / 18:00 GMT / 23:30 IST

with Dr. Shipra Nurang Suri
(Chief, Urban Practices Branch [OIC] and Global Solutions Divison, UN-Habitat, Nairobi)
and Dr. David Howard
(Associate Professor in Sustainable Urban Development, University of Oxford)

Our urban areas are expected to grow one and a half times by 2045, to over six billion city dwellers – with developed land projected to triple. This rapid growth and urbanization is also set against the backdrop of natural resource depletion and climate change. In order to plan sustainable cities and communities within this context it is important to take an interdisciplinary approach – understanding that the way in which we design and build our cities impacts our public health, economy, environment, and our mental and physical wellbeing. This talk explores the intersection between health and urbanisation and what it means for how we plan and manage our cities.

Watch the recording here

Filling the ‘Missing Middle’ of the Housing Market

Tuesday 10 November at 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST / 23:30 IST

with Alireza Sagharchi (Principal, Stanhope Gate Architecture),
Dan Parolek (Founding Principal, Opticos Design),
Robbie Kerr (Director, ADAM Architecture)
and Jason Syvixay (Principal Planner, City of Edmonton; PhD Student, University of Alberta)

It is difficult to find a country in the world not currently facing a housing crisis. The scale, scope, and nature of the challenge varies from place to place. There is, however, one fundamental reality across the globe: we need to provide more homes; and we need to find the ways to do this that benefit communities without harming the environment.

This talk outlines the concept of ‘missing middle housing’ and how traditional methods of design can create better places to live, for everyone.

Watch the recording here

American Housing & Social Justice: Undoing the Lasting Legacy of Housing Segregation

Monday, November 16, 2020 at 18:00 – 19:30 GMT / 13:00 – 14:30 EST

with Marianne Cusato (Partner, Cypress Community Development Corp)

Housing policy and the design of our cities intersect all aspects of our lives from the fabric of our society to the strength of our economy. When segmented groups are excluded from participating in the full economy all of society loses. Ironically, the methods and policies employed to discriminate against minority communities have ended up failing both the suburban and rural communities they were intended to privilege. The outcome is not only ongoing racial injustice, but also an affordable housing crisis and crumbling infrastructure in nearly every community across the country.

This talk looks at the history and lasting legacy of housing segregation in America, intended and unintended. Beyond the past and present, we will discuss potential ideas for addressing these inequities, specifically the nationwide affordable housing crisis, so we might build a stronger future for all communities.

Watch the recording here

Planning for Rapid Urbanisation

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST

with Peter Oborn (Chartered Architects and Strategic Client Advisor),
Ben Bolgar (Senior Director, The Prince’s Foundation),
and Haja Halimah Lukay (Development and Planning Officer, Bo City Council, Southern Sierra Leone)

The world’s urban population is projected to almost double over the next fifty years, and if current settlements trends persist, this would mean a tripling of the urban land mass. Half of that growth is projected in secondary cities and across Commonwealth Countries, with much of it likely to be unplanned. In this session, we hear from Peter Oborn from the Commonwealth Association of Architects, who has just published a survey of the professions–a critical piece of research exposing how areas of the world that are growing most rapidly often lack any professional built environment resources.

Ben Bolgar from the Prince’s Foundation presents a new mayor’s toolkit designed to assist with planning for rapid urbanisation in places where professional planning resources are scarce. Ben is followed by Haja Halimah Lukay from Bo City Council, Sierra Leone, who talks about her experience of using the mayor’s toolkit in Bo (where the urban populations is projected to triple in 20 years) and how she and her team have managed to implement the first phase of development control ‘planning and planting’ within 7 months of starting the process.

Watch the recording here

The What and Why of Climate-Responsive Design

Tuesday 8 December at 17:00 GMT / 12:00 EST / 22:30 IST

with Andrew Coates, Fatou Dieye, Yasmeen Lari, and Deependra Prashad

Design that works with, rather than against, its local climate is unquestionably the way of the future. For now, though, climate-responsive design remains something of a novelty, practiced and championed by the few and not the many. If we are to deliver the 230 billion square metres in new construction estimated to be needed between now and 2060 while also reducing the construction industry’s significant contribution towards global carbon emissions, the way we design needs to change, and fast.

Fortunately, traditional, vernacular, and indigenous design have many possible solutions ready to be adapted and implemented. Sharing examples and lessons from Gabon to India, Pakistan to Panama, speakers Andrew Coates (Cresolus Tropical Design), Fatou Dieye (Skat Consultancy country representative for Rwanda) and Deependra Prashad (Principal Architect at DPAP Architects and Secretary of INTBAU India) suggest a way forward for both people and the planet.

Watch the recording here

Design by Radical Indigenism

with Julia Watson

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
18:00 – 19:30 GMT
/ 13:00 – 14:30 EDT

Designers understand the urgency of reducing humanity’s negative environmental impact, yet perpetuate the same mythology of technology that relies on exploiting nature. Responding to climate change by building hard infrastructures and favoring high-tech homogenous design, we are ignoring millennia old knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature. Without implementing soft systems that use biodiversity as a building block, designs remains inherently unsustainable.

In this talk, Julia Watson discusses her research into thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from places like Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. She also dwells on how we can rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.

Learn more