International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2016: Call for projects

Deadline: 4 June 2015 - 9:00am


Where: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Venue: Schieblock - Unit 304 Delftsestraat 5 3013 AB Rotterdam NL

Conveners: Maarten Hajer

The mainstream hype around the strong GDP growth of many African countries over the past 15 years belies the fact that very few decent jobs are being created and income inequality is alarming, and worsening. It is shortsighted and ignorant to think that the fortunes of the majority of urban Africans will be improved through “more of the same” models of economic growth. A paradigm shift is needed, and urgently. As IABR-2016-THE NEXT ECONOMY’s Curator Statement  suggests, such a new paradigm must serve the majority of people and nature in an integral way, which demands “an active re-imagining of the city, a redesign of its underlying logic, its system and the way it is arranged both spatially, organizationally and financially.”

Thus, the ‘IABR-2016-The Next Economy’ provides a fantastic opportunity for African urban designers, architects, landscape architects, academics, artists, planners, cities, universities, companies and social organizations, or coalitions thereof, to submit best practices, projects and plans that contribute towards or illuminate the dimensions of a new imagination for the African City in response to the IABR’s global call for projects.

Within the context of IABR-2016 there will be a unique opportunity to tell African stories about the ills of de facto urbanism and, even more importantly, showcase innovative practices that align with the vision of ‘The Next Economy.’ The unique conditions of urban Africa marked by economic, residential and regulatory informality and a multitude of hybrid conditions provide fertile opportunities to project what an organic alternative paradigm might involve as a practice.

Furthermore, the extremities of the African context can offer insights for a global debate about how best to transition urban systems and polities from a resource-intensive, spatially inefficient and exclusionary machine to one that can mutate on the basis of grassroots innovation, appropriate technological enhancement and constant adaptation through learning. In this sense, thinking and acting in the African context might provide essential clues to enrich the search for a new take on the future city where an inclusive and vibrant economy will arise.

Further details regarding criteria and guidelines for submission are downloadable via the IABR website.

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