With just less than a month to go before Decorex Durban 2012 kicks off at the Durban Exhibition Centre between 21 – 25 March, an enticing line up of guest speakers for the enlightening and informative Conversations on Architecture conference has been confirmed and is creating much hype. International speaker Antonio Sanmartin G. de Azcon from Barcelona will be headlining the the half day seminar, which will also feature a diverse line-up of top local industry players, as well as some of the region’s most creative young minds.
The popular conference, sponsored by Caesarstone, will revolve around the theme ‘Revisiting Craft in Architecture’. Spaniard Sanmartin will be joined by local speaker Carl Wright from Rubin Reddy Architects and Alex Parker from the African Film Festival, who will be showing and discussing a series of short films. The audience will also hear from four talents from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN), namely Cameron Finnie, Dennis-Lee Stols, Mike Brunner and Helen Reeves. The South African Institute of Architects will be assessing and validating the conference and the activity will be validated for between 0.5 and 1 CPD credit.
Acclaimed Spanish architect Antonio Sanmartín G. de Azcón’s unique approach to architecture, a discipline which he sees “as an open site and an empty book to exhibit issues, matters, thoughts and proceedings”, has seen him contribute to a number of well-known and noteworthy projects at locations around the globe. Born in 1958, Sanmartín obtained his Masters in Architecture from New York University in Buffalo (1984) and Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University (1986).
Born and bred Durbanite Carl Wright, a Senior Professional Architect at Ruben Reddy Architects, will also be enlightening the audience Conversations on Architecture 2012 Durban. Wright will be speaking about ‘in-between architecture’, taking the audience on “a journey into the non-spaces of Durban where architecture in-between architecture is creating vibrant fringes of creativity and serendipity”.
University of the Witwatersrand doctoral candidate and Architects’ Collective board member Alex Parker will be screening and discussing two student films from the Architect Africa Film Festival at Conversations on Architecture. The films will be exploring ways in which techniques of film can be used to benefit the field of architecture.
The four talents from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) include Cameron Finnie, Dennis-Lee Stols, Mike Brunner and Helen Reeves. Finnie sees “climate change and its effects in economic, social and environmental conditions” as the biggest challenges faced by architecture today. “The way we, as architects, deal with these issues could be re-addressed, where an empowering “bottom up” process would promote sustainable practice”.
Dennis-Lee Stols is also concerned with espousing an understanding of “the importance of using architecture as a tool to combat poverty and exclusion, focusing on what is needed as opposed to what is desired”. Accordingly, Stols’ Masters dissertation “deals with informality, and the social exclusion of the urban poor within the construct of the post apartheid city of Durban”.
The most recent accolade on Mike Brunner’s impressive academic record is his winning of the prestigious annual Murray and Roberts Des Baker competition in 2009 with peer Helen Reeves. At Conversations on Architecture Durban 2012 Brunner, along with Helen Reeves, will be presenting their ‘Shisa Inyama!’ (craft and creativity) project. Here, contemporary culture is seen as constantly hungering for more, where an unrelenting drive for the sciences and technological development fills our heads, but fails to satisfy our souls.
As well as the invigorating and inspiring Conversations on Architecture conference, Decorex Durban will also feature the latest in international and local trends in décor, design, lifestyle and home living. Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2012, Decorex Durban event organizers have placed extra emphasis on the entertainment value for a great day out for the whole family. A great selection of food at trendy pop up restaurants and bars, beautifully designed room settings, affordable home decor accessories and free demos and workshops hosted by local celebs and industry experts will be on offer. Decorex Durban is proudly sponsored by Plascon, with M-Net as the media partner.