Later this year (3-5 October) the World Architecture Festival (WAF) will take place in Singapore. The director of the festival, Paul Finch, has just visited Copenhagen to promote the festival to Danish architects and also to encourage them to submit their work to the competition.
Paul Finch began his presentation by reflecting on the architecture of London, the city where he is based. He posed the key question, whether you can combine history and modernity in architecture and in cities and quickly answered this affirmatively. You have to innovate and build new in cities, but with respect for the existing buildings. Cities are not static entities which you can just sit and watch. With these musings on architecture and its’ role Paul Finch moved on to explain why we need events like the WAF. The WAF was partly born out of the realisation that architects will attend big events with the real estate sector. By setting up the festival Paul and his team has given architects globally a unique opportunity to attend a big event where the architects and architecture is the focal point, rather than real estate. Approximately 1500 people attend the event every year. In respect for all the hard work that has gone into the competition entries, the organisers make an effort of ensuring that every entry gets exhibited and is archived online. All shortlisted entries will get the chance to present their work to a jury.
In addition to the architecture competition, WAF offers a rich seminar programme. The programme has a wider focus than merely buildings, brick and mortar. It also discusses more widely urbanisation and the consequences of it. Mitigation of urbanism and pre-empted design are key terms in many of the presentations.
A former participant, Kim Nielsen from the Danish architecture firm 3XN, subsequently told the attendees how rewarding the participation in WAF has been for him personally and professionally. The WAF has made the architectural world smaller because it gives architects a better understanding of what goes on around the worked.
Finally the director of the Danish Architecture Centre, Kent Martinussen, rounded off the event by talking about how appropriate Singapore is as the location of this year’s event. Singapore has in the recent years succeeeded in becoming the design and architecture hub of Asia.
He also stressed that Paul Finch, a journalist by trade, has influenced architecture much more than many architects. This is no mean feat.
To find out more about this year’s exhibition and how to enter the competition read here.