MEMORY AND RESILIENCE • 3 – 5 MAY 2018
ArchitectureZA 2018 (#AZA18), Africa’s premier urban cultural festival focused on architecture, will be held at 012central in the Pretoria inner city from 3-5 May 2018. Presented and hosted by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), this three-day festival comprises two days of conference presentations and one day of tours and masterclasses. Under the theme WeTheCity: Memory & Resilience, the #AZA18 programme will focus on issues of design and practice concerning environmental potential, cultural heritage and human settlement. South African architectural, urban and cultural producers will share experiences and perspectives with cutting-edge international practices from around the world. The programme will include keynote presentations, parallel sessions, student design sessions, films, awards and exhibitions. Architectural and built environment professionals and stakeholders, members of the public, students, designers and artists, economists and urban thinkers are encouraged to attend.
The acceleration in global urbanization – exacerbated by climate change – dramatically shapes the cities in which we live. As a result new opportunities are being created toward compact cities, improved energy consumption, economic and social dynamism, market creation, human development and climate change adaptation. Different scenarios of change are envisaged as to how we live, engage, interact, and survive either as individuals, or as part of a collective within the urban environment.
Cities not only need to be sustainable, but also become more adaptive and diverse so as to be more resilient in the face of such new scenarios. The theme for the AZA 18 considers these scenarios collectively under the heading WeTheCity: Memory and Resilience. The term ‘resilience’ is the ability of a system to absorb, or recover, from certain disturbances without losing its functional identity, while memory refers to the significance of phenomena that hold on to properties that matter to and for a place – it is about objecting to the loss of meaning.
It is against the above background that the role of professional architects is changing, implied by the wording of WeTheCity. The latter is a proclamation, but also a provocation, implying a call for participatory action into how we shape our cities collectively.
AZA 18 is Africa’s premier urban cultural festival focused on architecture, and is structured to target the largest possible audience of professional architects, students and the wider built environment fraternity.
Since its launch in 2010, it has become a significant national multi-disciplinary design symposium, highlighting the role of design in economic and social endeavours, and creating a platform for engagement and the sharing of work, projects and ideas, and returning excellent ‘Return on Investment’ for sponsors. In 2016 the PR value was in excess of R5,5m.
The conference attracted an audience of more than 800 professionals, students, and other built environment stakeholders in 2016; AZA 18 will see the dynamic interaction of delegates on all levels.
For the duration of the conference, through the artistic eye, Emmanuel & Ilze will be documenting the emerging histories and futures of the City of Pretoria. In conjunction with the University of Pretoria, AZA18 and the Master Class by Marianne De Klerk, they will be capturing information, voices, data, impressions, video and visuals relating to the reveal of new archival documents relating to the somewhat obscure and ever revealing identity of Pretoria throughout the ages.
The collection of work produced will be part of the exhibition of Pretoria and will exist as a stand-alone art work translating the dynamic perspectives of the congress, workshops, city walks and master classes into a final audio-visual body of work.
Emmanuel Munano is a self taught photographer based in Pretoria. He is currently a BA student at Unisa and works as a Journals assistant at Unisa Press. His primary interest is to spread environmental awareness as well as to preserve (archive) the changes occurring within the city (environment). Munano uses street photography as a tool to preserve memory and identity, he believes that photographing and interacting with ordinary citizens enables him to know and understand his position in time and space and that his photographs serve as a cartographic account of his experiences in the city.
Ilze Mari Wessels
An architect by practice and self-taught artist chooses to spend her time working with all mediums, ranging from paint, photographs to polylines, configuring them as tools for the communication of place, space, form, waste and utopia. Her work deals with methods of mapping that navigate not only physical places and their narrative, but also more heterotopic places such as dialogue.
Ilze currently resides in Pretoria, Arcadia as part of her first project since returning from two years working in Bangkok as a junior architect, to begin an exploration of relating to urban contexts of a city forgotten because of its history, both subjective and objective, which exists as an ongoing work in progress called 'The Department for Urban Sanity.' [DFUS]