Imagining the possibilities

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With Safal Steel as title sponsor, the KwaZulu-Natal Institute of Architecture’s (KZNIA) New Paradigms Architectural Educational Conference, which took place on 26-27 October 2012 at Docklands Hotelin Durban, created a platform to discuss, revisit, rethink and change perceptions regarding the architectural industry.

Architecture has reached a crossroads. And, as such, there is a need to rethink and redefine the current status quo of the profession – from education to architectural practices. What is needed is a paradigm shift and imperatives for architectural education and design that keep communities, cultures and the environment in mind. These were some of the key discussion points at the the KwaZulu-Natal Institute of Architecture’s (KZNIA) New Paradigms Architectural

Educational Conference.
With Safal Steel as title sponsor, the conference, which took place on 26-27 October at Docklands Hotel in Durban, created a platform to discuss, revisit, rethink and change perceptions about architecture. More than 120 prominent architects supported the event, making it the largest educational conference presented by the KZNIA to date.

A new way of thinking
Now in its fourth year, New Paradigms marks a positive development in the evolution of the annual KZN Architectural Education Conference. One of the objectives of this value-added theme was to raise questions around generally accepted architectural discourse. This ranges from practical aspects, such as materials, approaches and tools, to other more theoretical issues like teaching and networks. According to Tammy Grove from Safal Steel, the limitless new paradigm should focus on three pillars – the environment, economy and society. As such, the conference covered diverse topics, such as typologies of buildings, architecture and childhood development in urban areas, architectural education, urban ecology and positive engagement with the informal economy.

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