The International Union of Architects World Congress (UIA) was held this year together with CIB104 at the city of Durban in South Africa. In the words of the conference organizers, the general theme of the congress was «OTHERWHERE – looking elsewhere for other ways of creating a better future. The subthemes were «resilience, ecology and values». «Resilience» explored questions around ideas of emergence, poverty alleviation, and the spatial economy. The second subtheme of «ecology» sought to «acknowledge the role of the architect in a bigger, interlinked, and systemic network and encourage a longer term view in the design of the built environment». The third subtheme, «values», explored approaches to «practice in Africa with a feeling that the agency of external donors needs to be tempered to benefit local inhabitants – who are currently being excluded from their own self-determination».
Natalie Plagaro Cowee had the privilege of not only attending the congress but also presenting a paper developed together with Prof. Peter Schwehr. The paper is the result of one of the latest research projects being carried out at CCTP, focusing on Antifragility, improving architecture with appropriate reaction to positive stressors.