UKZN Students Involved in UIA 2014 Durban Architecture Congress
About 18 Architecture students from the School of Built Environment and Development studies will participate in the UIA 2014 Architecture Congress at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 3-7 August.
The students are part of the International Union of Architects (UIA) student steering committee and at the head of major student-oriented events forming part of the Conference.
Lecturer within the Architecture Discipline Mrs Bridget Horner explained that the congress had a student component with UKZN and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) driving the bulk of student events during the Congress.
‘The Congress will bring together architects and students from around the world to debate their common concerns and interests all within an African context. Each day, two hours will be set aside for student-related events,’ said Horner.
Student Ms Sophie Troskolanski is heading the Des Baker Student Architecture Design Competition, promoting pragmatic solutions relating to the phenomenon of informal trade by proposing trade stalls which relate to the competition theme of “play + purpose”.
This competition recognises and rewards students of Architecture for their conceptual ability and design excellence. Troskolanski is also involved with fundraising for the student events and describes the overall congress experience as an exciting way of integrating with dynamic people in the field of Architecture and related professions.
Media co-ordinators for UIA 2014 - Ms Aadila Kajee, Ms Judy Poswa and Ms Bongeka Mnguni - are creating a media firestorm as they populate the various media outlets of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to fuel the hype and excitement around the congress.
Secretary and Event Co-ordinator for the Student Community Project, Ms Natache Iilonga, is organising a pilot project, as part of the Conference, to give Grade 9-11 pupils the opportunity to be an architect for a day.
‘We will introduce learners from three disadvantaged high schools in Durban to the Architecture field in an effort to get them interested and to possibly follow this exciting career path. The day will include everything from model-building to designing and presentation of their work.’
Event Co-ordinator for Pocket Parks, Mr Danvir Pillay, said the Conference would see the introduction and utilisation of the nifty Pocket Parks (miniparks that are urban open spaces on a small scale) being featured in and around Durban. Asked about the concept, Pillay said it was one of the student-led ideas in collaboration with city architects and would be instrumental in beautifying and recreating dead spaces in the city for public usage.
Communications Head and Event co-ordinator for student social events, Ms Sinethemba Sade Buthelezi, said social events would include the UIA student programme, the Archiball - a street party boasting a stellar line-up of entertainment.
According to Buthelezi, the student programme would also provide a platform for students to unpack the concept of Otherwhere along the lines of the sub-themes of Resilience, Ecology and Values.
‘Students will be able to voice their own opinions on the subject of current and future practices of architectural education in the student debate which will conclude the UIA 2014 student programme. This will also form part of the Student Charter to be presented at the next UIA Conference in Seoul in 2017.’
Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) Manager Mr Peter Machen said the week after DIFF ends, there would be a presentation of films which explored various aspects of Architecture.
Photograph by Melissa Mungroo