Laudable aims mark PE’s urban assembly of architects, academics and you
THE Eastern Cape Institute of Architecture’s (ECIA) aspirations for its first ever Urban Assembly are ambitious and aim to make high impact on the city of Nelson Mandela Bay and further afield.
According to the organisation, South African cities are in a state of crisis and without collective action between disparate groups – architects, academics, administrators and the public – such challenges are only likely to become more embedded.
The Urban Assembly is a conference of these groups and will set the tone for greater built environment and creative industry collaboration and networking. Driven by a motion, the conference will review, debate and discuss a set of guiding principles for future, constructive engagement and is the central outcome of the Urban Assembly.
“The motion raises core issues to a forum which can chart the course for re-imagining cities of the future. The motion is an ‘action plan’ of sorts that could allow us to depart at the end of the three days with knowledge that there is consensus on ideas and a framework for furthering these concepts,” said ECIA president, Tim Hewitt-Coleman.
Underpinning the motion are the aims of the assembly which focus on primarily on promoting interaction between the academic, public and private sectors and thereby creating platform for re-visioning and re-imagining Nelson Mandela Bay and, by extension, other South African cities.
It will also give a platform to the public, students, youth and other professionals in the built environment to make their comment, while encouraging people to see and meet “architects in action’ in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“This is a unique opportunity to engage on the topical discussions, hear comments from industry thought leaders and understand the thinking shaping a current and future vision for Nelson Mandela Bay,” added Hewitt-Coleman. “Also the Urban Assembly will enable people who attend to appreciate and understand the work that is currently being done.”
The event boasts 20 nationally acclaimed and internationally operating speakers and thought leaders, insight into cutting-edge thinking on urban design, networking opportunities, high-level debate and engagement, and the chance to meet leading national and local architects.
It is complemented by an award-winning, major exhibition of student and professional work, the annual Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture, and the launch of Professor Albrecht Herholdt’s new Coastal Contemporary book
A number of events – including the annual awards – are planned between October 14 and 16 together with a major exhibition of student and professional work.
The Urban Assembly is sponsored by PPC Cement, Safintra Roofing and Steel, and the MBDA. The ECIA’s 2013 Urban Assembly and awards takes place between October 14 and 16 at the Port Elizabeth Opera House from 9am each day. Adult tickets are R300 for the duration of the conference and student tickets are R100. ECIA members have a discounted rate of R250. Some events are closed to the public.