Architect seminar looks at inclusive development

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cheranka Mendis

The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) will hold their annual session ‘Architect 2011’ starting today, which encompasses four key events for industry stakeholders.

In its 29th year,

the sessions will kick off with the annual exhibition and trade fair under the theme of ‘Architecture for All, City + Community,’ the fair is set to attract over 100,000 participants.

The inauguration, which is set to include the presence of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, will be held today at 4.30 p.m. at the BMICH followed by the opening of the exhibition and trade fair.

The trade fair will be open for the public from Thursday to Sunday at the new hall of the BMICH. In addition, the premises will also house an information desk to provide the necessary career guidance knowledge for students and building advisory for the public.

The exhibition will span over 239 stalls with exhibits from professional architects of Sri Lanka as well as students of the two architectural schools in the country – City School of Architects and Department of Architects of the University of Moratuwa.

The national conference to be held on Thursday will welcome a host of international architect professionals from around the world, which includes India, Pakistan, Vietnam, UK, Sweden and other European countries.

The conference will delve into the architect’s role in national development including past achievements and philosophies in community architecture. Emerging issues and trends to be taken into consideration as well as subject matter concerning community projects such as mass housing, shanty resettlement and tsunami housing will be included.

The keynote speaker for the event will be renowned architect and urban designer from India, Professor Raj Rewal. Representatives from Architects Regional Council Asia Committee on Professional Practice (ARCASIA) will also be present at the event.

“The theme of this year’s events ‘Architecture for All, City + Community,’ is an important and a timely one as the Government is aiming at a ‘Housing for All’ project. One must be very careful in doing things right, which includes taking into consideration a large number of aspects such as housing, community, faculties, common areas and open spaces,” SLIA Secretary Archt. D.H. Wijewardene said yesterday.

He asserted that the conference aims to address such needs and issues to industry stakeholders such as builders and construction workers to policy makers and even politicians.

Professor Rewal, who is to address to the conference on Thursday, stated yesterday that the importance of the annual session spans over four areas of interests. “Asia is a rising economy. It is said that in the future the Delhi empire will be more economically powerful than London. Thus such events are important in taking forward the ethical practices of the industry.”

The rising expectations of the poor all over Asia were added as another mark of importance. “As such, the architectural designs and political hierarchy must democratically address the need of the poor. Seventy per cent of the population being in villages wanting to move to the city will be a severe issue if not for immediate intervention. The theme of the year’s conference is important in that sense.”