Sustaining Identity II Symposium: V&A Museum, London

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 15:56


Location: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Date: November 26 2009,
Time: 10AM-6PM
Curators: Juhani Pallasmaa, Paul Brislin and Tamara Horbacka
Tickets: £45, concessions available

Is there an architecture of resistance that stands in the face of commercial globalisation, that rejects the iconic image, that celebrates the sprit of individual place? In the current economic climate, is there an architecture that naturally rejects commoditisation and excess? Can architects, designers and engineers help sustain a sense of local identity, both in terms of cultural heritage and the conservation of the environment? How is human identity grounded in environment and architecture?

To answer these questions the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will be hosting the second in a series of symposia that unites visionaries and practitioners from different generations, cultures and geographies – from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas – on the theme of architecture and identity. The initiative’s aim is to prove that the creation of enduring, uniquely localised, people-centred space is still possible and desirable.

Leading international practitioners will use exemplary case study buildings to show how design can deliver a process of ‘whole life sustainability’ that places people first. The term was coined last year in discussions with UNESCO, to define sustainability from a human perspective.

Whole life sustainability considers different aspects of value in different cities, rather than creating models that expect people, and cities and places around the world to behave in identical ways and create similar environments. It looks at sustainability from a wider cultural perspective, and incorporates local identity into the design process through an attempt to understand and celebrate the variety of human experience, the senses and memory.

Keynote speaker and curator: Juhani Pallasmaa

Policy Makers / Urban Planners / Environmentalists: Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; Lodovico Folin-Calabi, UNESCO World Heritage Centre; Jane da Mosto, Venice in Peril

Architects:Charles Correa, India; Sean Godsell, Australia; Arup Associates, London; Jonathan Kirschenfeld, New York; Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Chile; Iñaki Abalos, Spain; Gawie Fagan, South Africa.

To book call +44 20 7942 2211 or visit

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