WAD13 takes off in New York

Monday 07 Oct 2013

Delegates take to Twitter to share WAD13 with the world

Initiated in 2005 by the UIA, World Architecture Day was adopted by WAN last year as the first of our annual events to celebrate architecture around the globe and ask the difficult questions that push this industry forward.

This year WAN has partnered with the AIANY to showcase the best of New York design talent in an engaging three day event that is still in full swing. On Sunday 6 October we wandered down the Highline with L’Observatoire International and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, took a moving tour of the 9/11 Memorial Ground with Snohetta, took turns up the New York Times Building with Thornton Tomasetti, strolled through The Standard with Ennead, tiptoed through the Morgan Library, visited Via Verde with Grimshaw and looked round the Lincoln Center with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.

Monday 7 October was marked by a full-day conference at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan, packed full of architects, engineers, developers and industry experts who travelled from 20 different nations to hear specialists from the residential sector dissect this year’s topic - Towards 8 Billion: Housing the Next Generation. The global population is anticipated to rise to 8 billion by 2025 and WAN brought together a team of experienced architects and innovative thinkers to explore the ways in which the design industry can effectively and sustainably meet this demand.

This year more than ever, Twitter has provided a minute-by-minute account of World Architecture Day in New York for the international community. Whenever one of the panellists or keynote speakers made a strong point, members of the audience were tweeting the statements live on Twitter. If you missed any of the conversation you can visit WAN’s Twitter feed, the dedicated @WAD13_NY feed or our reporter Emily Bowe’s personal feed for key snippets from the conference.

WAN's Editor in Chief Michael Hammond comments: “As the second day of WAD 13 came to a close yesterday, it became clear that we had a major success on our hands. The Twitter frenzy during the conference was phenomenal, reflecting globally the intense housing debate being conducted  inside the Manhattan hall.

"Feedback from delegates has been tremendous and I firmly believe we have raised the game from last year’s inaugural event in London. As this message goes out, 15 parallel workshops are being hosted in leading architects’ studios all across the city. In all, over 20 nations were represented at the summit, confirming WAD’s position as the global platform for architecture.”

A full report from the World Architecture Day conference will follow shortly; in the meantime, here are a handful of highlights from yesterday’s debates:

- Ashok Raiji on building abroad: “The projects that succeed are the ones where the architect respects and sees the local culture”

- Jill Lerner on vertical living: “Tall buildings should invite people up to the top”

- Koen Olthuis on floating homes: “The elevator created the notion of a vertical city, just as water can create the notion of a floating, flexible city”

- David Farnsworth on affordable housing: “I’m a capitalist at heart. The only way to make housing more affordable is  to increase the supply”

- Vishaan Chakrabarti on building for future generations: “Green building won’t save us. A LEED Platinum office park isn’t going to be the answer”

- Comment from audience member: “We mustn’t let the train run us over and be led by engineers. We must lead the train as architects”

The World Architecture Day celebrations continue today (8 October) with a series of workshops with New York-based design studios. Details will follow shortly.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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