Arc. Gaetan Siew

Arc. Gaetan Siew

Arc. Gaetan Siew has been appointed by the UK Government as Non-Executive Director on the Board of Future Cities Catapult, UK, chaired by Sir David King, Special Representative on Climate Change, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A Professor at the Cambridge University and previously Government Chief Scientific Advisor, he is the only Architect and non-UK citizen, to occupy such office.
Please join me in congratulating our honorable member for this wonderful achievement and the new height he is carrying our profession into. We wish him all the best and much more success in his new office.
The Future Cities Catapult is a global centre of excellence on urban innovation. A place where businesses, universities and urban leaders come together to develop solutions to the future needs of cities:-

  • Enabling platforms for urban innovation and instrumenting the city; essentially, the infrastructure (hard and soft) that needs to be in place for a city to be smart. This will include open data platforms and policies, networks of sensors and urban laboratories.
  • Spotting and supporting breakthrough ideas by working with start-ups and the academia to spot the innovations which can be supported, scaled and applied in the city context. This will include challenge competitions, match-making and providing business support.
  • Testing and proving new approaches through a Cities Lab and Pilot projects, proving the value of applying 21st Century
  • approaches to city problems. This will include urban big data, rapid prototyping, and city pilots.
  • Unlocking finance and developing investable propositions. There is no shortage of money available for investment; there is
  • shortage of opportunities in cities and yet the resources are not flowing. This will include working with the finance community on innovative financing mechanisms as well as working with cities on investable propositions.

We are partnering with Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, Schneider and other cities such as New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Moscow.


Dear Colleagues and Members,
With support of partners and cities, the most used and widely appreciated handbook “How To Make Cities More Resilient: A Handbook For Local Government Leaders” is now available in multiple languages.This handbook provides Mayors, Governors, Councillors and other Local Government Leaders a generic framework for risk reduction and points to good practices and tools that are already being applied in different cities for that purpose. It discusses why building disaster resilience is beneficial; what kind of strategies and actions are required; and how to go about the tasks. It offers practical guidance to understand and take action on the “Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient” as set out in the global campaign “Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!” to which 1678 cities are now participating.

You can download the handbook, from the following links –





The international competition for young Architects in Africa opened on 13th October 2013 and closed for registration on 15th March 2014. Winning entries will be exhibited at CA’ASI during the International Architecture Biennale, holding from 7th June – 23rd November 2014.
This competition is a unique opportunity to showcase the important role played by Africa today, as seen through its contemporary Architecture. An international jury will meet in Paris at the end of March, to select the winners and runners-up.

The awards ceremony will hold in Venice where the winners will be invited to present their projects at CA’ASI, during the 14th International Architecture Biennale, including the exhibition during the event.

For more information, follow link:




The Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in South Africa, will open its doors to host the UIA International Congress, DURBAN 2014 on Monday 3rd August, 2014.  The Congress will end on Friday 7th after which the General Assembly will meet between Saturday 8th till Monday 10th August 2014.

The prestigious International Convention Centre (ICC) is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world and has the largest area of column-free, flat-floor, multi-purpose space in Africa.  The ICC has been named Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre from 2001 – 2006, and 2008 – 2010 by the World Travel Award and has been voted among the top 10 Congress Centres in the world (2004 – 2006) by the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC).

UIA2014 Student Competition Deadlines are as follows:

  • Projects Submitted: 31st March 2014
  • Adjudication Starts: 7th April 2014
  • Shortlisted Teams Announced in May 2014
  • Winners announced at UIA2014 Durban Congress in August 2014

The event proper will be in two parts:

  • WORLD CONGRESS holds from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th of August, 2014
  • UIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY holds from Saturday 8th to Monday 10th of August, 2014. For more information on DURBAN 2014, please visit


jan_1You are welcome to the January 2014 Edition, which is also the 9th Edition of our AUA Newsletter. It is hard to believe we are nearing the first anniversary of this venture.
We are constantly innovating and looking for ways to make the Newsletter as relevant, interesting and engaging as possible.
One of the features we are looking to introduce for the New Year is the inclusion of birthdays, anniversaries and other special events of our members. To this end, we implore you to send in your special dates so that we may recognize and congratulate you.
We are also planning to include favourite quotes of our members, with architectural theme. Please send us quotes that you have found meaningful, may have made you stop and think, or just quotes that have made you smile or made your profession worthwhile.
To set the ball rolling, we have included a quote by Arc. David Adjaye coined from his speech – Africa is an Extraordinary Opportunity: “What’s amazing is that, unlike working in Europe or America at the moment, [as an Architect] in Africa you can try to ascribe a new paradigm. If you get the right political agency and the right construction environment, you can make extraordinary moments in Architecture. That for me is very exciting.”
As always, we welcome your feedback, comments, critiques and contributions.

Here’s to a successful “Architecture Otherwhere Competition” in Durban, South Africa during the 2014 UIA Conference come August 2014. We wish all our Members and their families a joyous and creative 2014.


Extension of Music Academy in Katowice, Poland - 2008 laureate

Extension of Music Academy in Katowice,
Poland – 2008 laureate

The UIA announces the launch of its international award “Friendly Spaces Accessible to All”.
This award celebrates excellence in architecture that is accessible to all and respects the principles of universal design. The award will be presented to completed projects that have created attractive, inclusive and sustainable environments where the recognition of human diversity through friendly architectural expression has been central to the design process.

A special award will be given to an architect(s) for evidence based design research that makes a significant contribution to improved quality of life through facilitating a better understanding of user-centered design and its application to the design of the built environment.

For eligibility, judging criteria, and competition specification: Kindly follow the link –


  1. AUA is developing a partnership relationship with ARCASIA through the recent visit of President Omisore to NAPAL.
  2. The President sent a letter of condolence to the Philippines’s Institute of Architects on behalf of AUA for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan
  3. The African Union of Architects’ Constitution is under review. The 1st Draft was presented to Council during the 49th Council Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, 6th December, 2013
  4. The Society of Egyptian Architects invites African Architects to its conference and CPDP scheduled for Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in April 2014


Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year 2014


The AUA at her 49th Council meeting and CPD session resolved the following:
1. On National Issues
After careful review of the Kigali Master Plan, AUA congratulates the city for this ambitious project. AUA further encourages the city to include:

  • A strong element of cultural identity for its implementation.
  • A design to budget concept should be adopted to achieve affordable developments and ensure sustainability.
  • A R&D (Research and Development) component at the KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology) to develop innovative African solutions to our built environment.

2. On International Issues

  • The AUA supports the EAIA Mutual Recognition Agreement on Cross Border Profess and Practice
  • The AUA adopts a resolution to develop minimum guidelines and accreditation for the Education of Architects on the Continent.



Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan

On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines,made landfall in the central Philippines, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that resulted in flooding, landslides, and widespread damage. Typhoon Haiyan, was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that caused catastrophic destruction and extensive devastation and it is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing over 6,000 people in that country alone. According to UN officials, about 11 million people have been affected and many have been left homeless.
Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed. Tacloban, the Philippine city that suffered the worst devastation from the super typhoon, is tentatively trying to regain its Christmas cheer. Most survivors are still dependent on aid and will be celebrating in the halls and classrooms operating as evacuation centres.
In a city where bodies are still being recovered at an average of 25 a day and survivors are busy rebuilding their lives, it’s hard to muster that spirit. The majority of survivors are at the rebuilding stage, and so Christmas will be very different.
However, Government Organizations have made an effort to boost Christmas spirit. Lanterns set up by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) around the St. Niño Parish and Tacloban Airport will light up the city, which is still mostly reliant on generators. A 17-metre Christmas Tree has also been erected on the grounds of Tacloban City Hall by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). Prisoners created decorations out of used water bottles and galvanised iron pipes left behind by the storm.
It will be an improvised Christmas this year in Tacloban but for those who survived Haiyan, it is a chance to be thankful for what they still have. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on donor nations to ramp up aid to the typhoon-battered Philippines as it grapples with a funding shortfall on the long road to recovery. “We must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis,” Mr Ban told reporters a day after touring the storm-ravaged city of Tacloban.

How Can You Help?


– culled from Wikipedia, BBC News, The Guardian and the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)




The International Trade Show and Expo held from Thursday 31st October – Saturday 2nd November 2013 at the prestigious Expo Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos, Nigeria. The 3-day event provided all participants and partners excellent opportunities to meet and interact with various key players and stakeholders in the Construction Industry.

The annual event, second in its series, was organized by Constrad Multi Concepts, a team of experienced professionals with a track record in organizing and facilitating Trade Shows, Conferences, Workshops, Seminars, and Construction related Expos and events in Nigeria. CONSTRAD is simply dedicated to providing world class service to the industry creating several platforms and major activities where the various sectors of the industry can interact and rub minds on very many global issues particularly those that threaten the industry as well as those that promote the industry from sustainability to energy, the impacts of technology, metals and mining, oil and gas, security to buildings, etc. all on the Environment, and as they impact the daily lives of Nigerians now and in the future.

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