Positive Feedback

thankuConsidering the positive comments received by the AUA President and SAIA President from various participants after the Congress,it is appropriate to conclude that UIA 2014 Congress was a huge success. Well done AFRICA. Find below some of the feedback…


To AUA President
On behalf of the Organization Committee of UIA Durban 2014 and the South African Institute of Architects we hereby thank you for your support and participation in the above event. Your participation underlined the support of the AUA and highlighted the Leadership role of the AUA on the Continent. At the UIA General Assembly which followed the Congress, one of the Past Presidents of the UIA, Mr. Rod Hackney said that in his opinion, of the 13 UIA Congresses he has attended, this was the best. The core team of the Durban 2014 Organisation Committee (Hassan Asmal; Karen Eicker; Amira Osman; Nina Saunders; Eric Noir) were given a standing ovation by the more
than 250 Members of the UIA General Assembly after presenting the outcomes of the congress on the last day of the GA. We also attach herewith a letter received from another Past President of the UIA which is self-explanatory.
Hassan Asmal, President Organisation Committee – UIA Durban 2014

To SAIA President
The UIA Durban 2014 Congress was, undoubtedly, an unqualied success. Not least because it was a people-oriented Congress, as no other has been in the past. This was also evident in the friendliness of the atmosphere that permeated the venues where the events were held To you and to the whole team that worked so hard to achieve this fantastic end result, I can only say Congratulations and Thank You, because you did the UIA proud and you have also set standards to be emulated in the future. The Congress was very good for the image of South Africa and very particularly for the international image of the South African Architects. There can also be no doubt that visiting Architects went back to their respective countries convinced of the quality of South African Architecture. The benets of this are not to be underestimated and will ripple down all the way to students wishing to become internees.
Vassilis Sgoutas, UIA Past President, Hon. Fellow SAIA

Dear President Tokunbo Omisore,
I hope this letter ands you well. It was such a pleasure to meet you in Durban, South Africa, for the 2014 UIA World Congress and Assembly last month. It was a spectacular gathering and I was honoured to lead the USA Delegation at such an important event. Thank you, once again, for your outreach. It is an important rst step towards re-establishing the relationship between our organizations, especially at a time that it is so critical that we work together for the good of our members and our world. I look forward to continued exchange and co-operation between the AIA and the Africa Union of Architects.
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA 2014, AIA President


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Winners receiving their prizes at the Award ceremony on Wednesday 6th August during 25th UIA World Congress in Durban, South Africa. The Jury, which comprised UIA Bureau Members: Albert Dubler (President), Louise Cox, (Past President), Michel Barmaki, (Secretary General), Patricia Emmett, (Treasurer) and Vice-Presidents Antonio Raffaele Riverso, Deniz Incedayi, Thomas Vonier, Mohamed Esa and Ali Hayder, met in Melbourne, Australia on 5th May 2014 to adjudicate the entries.

Host of the Congress and President of SAIA, Ngonyama Sindile, giving his speech as Keynote Speaker at the Opening Ceremony George Miller receives the UIA Gold Medal Award, on behalf of IM Pei, from UIA President, Albert Dubler Hassan Asmal, UIA2014 President, receives the UIA Insignia of Honour on behalf of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Official Closing Ceremony on Thursday 7th August 2014
A downloadable gallery of images is available here

UIA World Congress, Durban 2014, DECLARATION 2050 IMPERATIVE (extract)


By adopting the 2050 IMPERATIVE at the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress in  Durban, the UIA and its member organizations and partners will send a strong message to the Parties of the UNFCCC, and to the world, that we are committed to a truly sustainable and equitable future.
The UIA is acutely aware that failing to act now on climate change will put future generations and those already affected by extreme weather, natural disasters, and poverty, at great risk.
Recognizing the architects’ central role in planning and designing the built environment, and the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and provide equal access to shelter, we commit to promote the following actions:

  • Plan and design cities, towns, urban developments and new buildings to be carbon neutral
  • Renovate and rehabilitate existing cities, towns, urban redevelopments and buildings to be carbon neutral whilst respecting cultural and heritage values.
  • In those cases where reaching carbon neutral is not feasible or practical, plan and design cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings and renovations to be highly efficient with the capability to produce, or import, all their energy from renewable energy sources in the future.
  • We commit to the principle of engaging in research and setting targets towards meeting the 2050 goal.
  • Advocate and promote socially responsible architecture for the community, develop and deliver equitable access to the information and tools needed to:
    • plan and design sustainable, resilient, inclusive and low-carbon/zero carbon built environments.
    • design no-cost/low-cost on-site renewable energy and natural resources systems (e.g., passive heating and cooling, water catchment and storage, solar hot water, day lighting, and natural ventilation systems).

This is Our Commitment, Let’s all adopt it.



The response to the UIA2014 Durban World Congress has been overwhelmingly positive, thanks to the vibrant and convivial energy generated at the event that created a space of meeting, interaction and community; as well as the reach of the content and the impact that it had on those who attended.

We, the UIA 2014 Working Team and Organisation Committee, have had phenomenal feedback about the high calibre of the Keynote Speakers, the engaging Panel Discussions, the inspiring Exhibitions in the ICC and DEC, the exciting street activators and public projects around the City and the Programme as a whole – which have all been absolutely inspiring.

We have also had tremendously positive comments in respect of how the event was organized – indeed, at the post-event feedback by the UIA 2014 Executive Team at the UIA General Assembly on Saturday 9th August, we received a standing ovaton from the over 250 UIA Delegates present. Since then, we have been receiving Congratulatory messages and appreciation from around the world.

A Lasting Legacy 
In addition to the anticipated lasting impact that the Congress debates and discussions will have on the thinking and perceptions of those who attended, there are a number of tangible direct outcomes from the
event that are being recorded on the UIA2014 website under the link LEGACY

So far these include:

  • UIA2014 Congress Declaration
  • UIA2014 Students Charter
  • UIA Awards Announcement
  • SA Planning Institute: Statement of Intent
  • 2050 Imperative on Carbon Emissions: Adopted by the UIA on Friday 8th August 2014

Ultmately, UIA 2014 succeeded in its overarching intentons to create a broader awareness of Architecture
within the public realm, to develop a closer interaction between various stakeholders and the profession,
and to place the South African profession, and its achievements and challenges, within the global architectural
By Karen Eicker, UIA2014 Commissary General