The international conference “Architecture of Migration”

7 marraskuun, 2019 - 8 marraskuun, 2019
the National Library of Latvia, Riga

Riga to host international conference “Architecture of Migration”

On November 7-8, Riga, the largest capital in the Baltics, will host the international conference “Architecture of Migration”, focusing on migration and its different aspects from the interest points of architecture, territorial planning, and infrastructure development. Today migration is defined as one of the key concerns among Europeans – in its multifaceted nature, it takes place on a global, regional, and national level at the same time.

The conference will look at global migration from the viewpoint of the geographical North, more precisely – how do we position ourselves, meaning the Baltic Sea Region, in the crossroads of worldwide circulation? What if we look at the planet by altering our habitual perspective? We may be confronted with unnoticed geopolitical and economic intentions and a system of intersecting flows – networks of high-speed transport links and fibre-optic grids, opportunities for exploitation of the Arctic, abandoned border checkpoints, and urbanisation of the Baltic Sea in opposition to the drama of depopulation of the rural territories.

“With the conference theme we aim to broaden the notion of ’migration’ beyond its preconceptions and expand its understanding. Architecture in this context is considered a system, a medium and prerequisite for movement – not merely an inhabitable building but the physical infrastructure of space and intangible connections,” state the curators, Latvian architects Dagnija Smilga and Dina Suhanova. “With the help of worldwide expertise, we want to identify future trends within the Baltic space in order to reimagine design briefs, revise policies, and plan socio-economic and spatial transformations.”

The conference, which will be held at the National Library of Latvia in Riga on November 7-8, is part of a series of parallel events including the meetings of the International Union of Architects (UIA) delegates of Regions I and II on November 6 and the Baltic Architects Union Association (BAUA) Student Awards 2019 on November 9. The pan-Baltic event is organized by the Baltic Architecture Union Association – Latvian Association of Architects in partnership with the Architects Association of Lithuania and The Union of Estonian Architects. Juris Poga, architect and President of the Latvian Association of Architects, is convinced that the conference will be a significant event. It is being organised in Riga for the first time, with the aim to position the Baltics at the intersection of current issues related to migration. By inviting delegations from the International Union of Architects, the organisers aim to discuss the efficiency of cross-border collaboration among professionals and institutional bodies to develop reasonable architecture and planning policies.

International practitioners, original thinkers, and researchers from various fields have been invited to contribute with keynotes and presentations and to take part in panel discussions. Among them are editor and founder of the Migrant Journal Justinien Tribillon; designer Irene Stracuzzi; architecture historian and Rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts Mart Kalm; architect, researcher and curator Ignacio G. Galán; architect and sustainability expert from Gensler Kirsten Ritchie; architect and Hosoya Schaefer Architects partner Markus Schaefer; architect and Crimson Architectural Historians partner Mike Emmerik; urbanist from UrbanLab Keiti Kljavin; Victoria and Albert Museum programme curator Meneesha Kellay; former ArchDaily editor, now ArkDes in Stockholm curator James Taylor-Foster; head of LABLAB research and design lab Daniel Urey; and PART architect and researcher Sille Pihlak.

The conference is open to attendees representing diverse fields: professionals and researchers in the field of architecture and urban planning; policymakers and foreign and local officials in the field of migration policy and regional development; representatives from administrative bodies at the international level; urban and social activists; representatives from governmental and non-governmental organisations; academics, stakeholders and representatives from the public and private sectors; and active members of the community.

Tickets and more information: www.architectureofmigration.org. Early registration tickets are available until September 30. The cost is €59 for academics and €149 for general attendees.

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