2019 Programme

Main Stage

10.00 - 10.05 - Welcome to WAF 2019

Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival


10.05 - 10.15 - Amsterdam Prize Announcement

Presented by: Yvonne Franquinet, Secretary, Visual Arts, Heritage & Film, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK)


10.20 - 11.00 - Talk


The ‘flow’ of Architecture in the Anthropocene is one of increasing acceleration. An exponential level of development is destroying the range of key planetary characteristics of Earth that enable it to support Homo sapiens and a whole range of other species. The United Nations has categorically stated that the only way forward is a rapid deployment of energy-efficient and low-carbon building designs. Along with the inclusion of intelligent operational systems, construction will need to be optimised and natural resources reconsidered. In 1961, President Kennedy committed the US to, within a decade, send a man to the moon and bring him back safely to earth. It was an unprecedented technical goal bordering on insurmountable. In 2019, over the next decade we need to set ourselves an even more ambitious target for the built environment. We need to increase the number of high-performance, low carbon buildings by six-fold from the current trend. To reach that milestone, near zero energy, zero emission buildings must become the construction standard globally by 2030. Only then will we be able to appropriately limit rising global temperatures. A performative design approach that searches for optimized solutions is the critical and only way forward. This must be our generation’s ‘moonshot’ moment.

Andrew Whalley, Chairman, Grimshaw


11.20 - 12.00 - INSIDE Keynote

The Flow of Ideas

For me spontaneity in design ensures the vitality of the outcome. But if I look back over decades of drawing and making, a handful of themes pop up repeatedly, often appearing when I least expect them. For example, confounding scale, meddling with time and organising space in spirals. These recurrences are like ticks, or stubborn musical phrases, albeit ones that carry my creative DNA.

Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates

Chair: Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival


12.10 - 12.50 - Talk

The World of Data: The Architecture of Instant Information

To fully grasp the impact of the new data revolution, it is worth taking a holistic view of Industry 4.0. Previous revolutions were erratically distributed across the world, with change taking years or decades before affecting communities. In today’s industrial revolution we have almost instantaneous knowledge-driven dissemination. This is a socio-technological phenomenon with effects yet to be understood and, needless to say, controlled. It is expected that the fourth industrial revolution will transform the world with a far higher speed, scope and impact than any previous technological revolution we have experienced. In this presentation, Dr Abel Maciel discusses the new data revolution and how it is set to disrupt how we create, sustain and transform our built environment.

Abel Maciel, Principal, Design Computation


13.00 - 13.40 - Lunchtime lecture

Jeddah Metro: Building a Sustainable Vision for Infrastructure

By taking a long-term, sustainable approach, which anticipates growth well into the next century, the vision for Jeddah’s transport network includes the design of metro, tram, ferry, bus, cycle, park and ride systems, as well as new bridges, public spaces, energy infrastructure and nodes of development. Angus Campbell’s talk will outline the practice’s innovative approach, using the project as a catalyst to create new public spaces from linear parks to sports facilities, as well as a new network of data, energy and communications, allowing the metro system to become an integral part of the city’s infrastructural spine. He will also discuss how infrastructural development can be underpinned by environmental and economic sustainability by promoting densification and strategic planning that leverages future land values to fund such projects, while also drawing on lessons from history and local culture with an aim to create a diverse and vibrant city.

Angus Campbell, Senior Partner & Deputy Head of Studio, Foster + Partners

Chair: Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival


14.00 - 14.40 - Talk

What We Learn from Water

There are two waters in design. The first is somewhere in flows and gatherings: in rivers, oceans, channels, pipes, reservoirs and lakes. The second water is everywhere, a ubiquitous wetness that does not necessarily flow. It precipitates, soaks, seeps, osmotes, and evaporates in ways that defy delineation. If the first water is in a crisis today with rising seas, melting glaciers, increasing floods, pollution, and scarcity, the second holds a way forward for design.

Anuradha Mathur Professor, Landscape Architecture, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Dilip da Cunha, Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design


15.00 - 15.40 - Talk

Ben Morse, Head of Engineering for Personal Care, Dyson


16.00 - 16.40 - INSIDE keynote

Petra Blaisse, Founding Partner and Lead Designer, Inside Outside

Chair: Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates


17.00 - 17.40 - Talk

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Co-Founder & Principal, 3XN Architects


18.15 - 19.15 - Keynote

Open Building: A Future Perspective on Habraken’s Heritage

Marc Koehler’s term as the Architect in Residence of Arcam (Architectuur Centrum Amsterdam) is drawing to a close in December, concluding a period of three months of studying new initiatives according to the principles of John Habraken’s Open Building.

Architect and academic Habraken composed the first guidelines of Open Building in the sixties: he described ways to compose buildings with a multipurpose structure and flexible infill, to address the different wishes and needs of inhabitants.

As co-initiator of a new online platform featuring current developments in Open Building - developers, architects, and inhabitants - Marc will present an overview of new initiatives and projects. He will elaborate on three themes: Open Architecture, Open Development, and Open Systems, and connect the principles of Open Building to new ways to incorporate circularity, sustainability and the influence of individuals and communities into residential projects.

Marc Koehler, Principal, Marc Koehler Architects

Chair:Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


19.15 - 19.25 - Category winner announcements

Festival Hall Stage

10.00 – 17.00 - Open Building Summit

A new generation of Dutch architects is implementing the principles of Open Building, first introduced by (Dutch architect and theorist) John Habraken in the 1960s. Architects are exploring the possibilities and boundaries of creating buildings with a separation of structure and infill in residential buildings. The resulting projects have been formed from distinctive methods of development and commissioning and have strong and unique architectural identities. Open Building is a way to incorporate circularity and flexibility in the structure of the building, thus creating sustainable buildings. The involvement of future inhabitants in the design and building process creates cohesive and creative communities, even before the buildings are actually built. During the WAF Open Building Summit, recent residential projects following the Open Building principles will be presented by Dutch architects. Different aspects of Open Building will be addressed, using the themes Open Development, Open Architecture, and Open Systems. Although the showcased projects are built on Dutch soil, international lessons can be learned on different levels of organisation, design, and building. During WAF there will be architectural tours to new residential Open Building projects in Amsterdam.

More to be announced soon


19.15 - 19.25 - Category winner announcements

Main Stage

10.00 - 10.40 - Talk

Flow and the Expansion of the Profession

The digital revolution has brought about many and varied cultural effects – both good and bad - yet is only now starting to truly affect how we design the built environment. In both art and science, objective observation has always been paramount. However, with new technologies and data collection, objectivity alone cannot lead to progress. If we want to successfully design healthy, safe and human-centric environments, data application needs to be carefully guided and directed. We need to learn to design with data; to understand and guide its potential analogue effects. In his keynote, Ben van Berkel speculates about the future of the built environment and presents a number of scenarios that outline how technology, developments in mobility, and finding a balance between cultural versus economic values can change our cities and buildings for the better.

Ben van Berkel, Founder/Principal Architect UNStudio & Founder UNSense


11.00 - 11.40 - Panel

Knowledge Flows: Radical, Restorative & Regenerative Approaches

In the context of resource scarcity and climate crisis, it is imperative to discuss a new system that meets industry demands within planetary boundaries. With the construction sector using globally 20% of water, 25% of the virgin wood and 40% of energy in the world, the scale and impact of architecture has shifted from single buildings to economic systems of re-invention. Terminologies such as “Cradle to Cradle” and “Circularity” have entered the day to- day vocabulary of designers, pushing design ambitions to fields never explored before. Sustainable design reduces the harmful effects of construction, but it’s simply not enough. Architecture that is truly sustainable must be regenerative and able to have a measurable positive impact, treating the environment as "an equal shareholder". Knowledge Flows looks at current methodologies and design approaches that practitioners can rely on in order to reverse the trend. The emphasis will be on research and learning processes within trailblazing practices,and their forecast for the future.

Chair:Solène Wolff, Managing Partner, PLANE-SITE

Panel: Kasper Guldager Jensen, Architect MAA, Senior Partner 3XN, Director GXN

Kristian Edwards, Senior Architect, Interior Architect, Snøhetta


12.00 - 12.40 - INSIDE Keynote

Creating the Kilometre-Long Parametric ‘Flow Wall’ at the New Istanbul Airport

A flowing, ribbon-like wall has been installed in the new Istanbul Airport that unites a suite of lounges, forming an intuitive route through space that transcends barriers of language and culture. It is the result of an international competition won by Softroom to deliver lounges that embody Turkish Airline’s new brand philosophy of ‘Flow’. Designed by Softroom and fabricated by Ikoor, the Flow Wall is over a kilometre long, making it one of the longest parametric interior forms in the world. It provides the visual signature that weaves through the six new lounges, creating a series of unified areas that cater for the differing needs of passengers. Softroom founder Oliver Salway will discuss the creative process, and lessons learnt from the its fabrication and installation.

Oliver Salway, Director, Softroom

Chair: Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates


13.00 - 13.40 - Lunchtime lecture

Coming Up for Air

A discussion of lost souls, forgotten souls, and some new kids on the block… including a sideways glance at the significance of being in the irritatingly right place or the creatively wrong place at the time.

Sir Peter Cook, Architect, Professor & Writer

Chair: Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


14.00 - 14.40 - Talk

The Flow of People

Usually we think of the flow of people as being something to do with the number of people trying to move through a space in a given time, and we then design the space accordingly. However, this is a very restricting and rather antisocial way of looking at the way we design our space. Two inherent characteristics of the human species, genetically evolved over 100,000 years ago are the inherent sociality that enabled humans to collaborate and cooperate (to find and secure food) and the inherent appreciation of space as something to be in, rather than to move through. This suggests that in order to make space fit for people we should design it to accommodate, not the flow of people in the sense of how they move, but the flow of people in terms of how they socialise, cooperate, converse or collaborate. So, flows of people we need to consider are those of information, energy, senses, ideas and words. This talk explains how this conceptualisation of the flows of people informs the design of the space in which we live and thrive.

Nick Tyler, Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering, Director, UCL Centre for Transport Studies


15.00 - 15.40 - Talk

Session details to be announced.


16.00 - 16.40 - Talk

BIT.BIO.BOT - Green Architecture in the Age of Ecological Crisis

The impending ecological crisis has spurned a race towards re-greening our cities and our architecture. However, “green” ideology hides a nagging paradox. It proposes a sanitised vision of urban nature that renders it ineffective towards establishing a new circular economy of matter, information and energy. The PhotoSynthetica project proposes an architectural habitat for the urban microbiome, foregrounding nature’s “dirty” side. Powered by the sun and monitored by AI, it hosts cultures of living cyanobacteria that feed on what buildings expel (CO2, pollution and heat) to grow high value biomass (energy and food). Their in-human efficiency engenders a new kind of architecture. No longer a mere container of functions, like in the modern machine for living, it becomes itself a dynamic process of production, a living machine.

Dr Marco Poletto, Co-Founder & Director, ecoLogicStudio


17.00 - 17.40 - Talk

Who Owns the City?

There was a time when modest housing in our major cities was simply that – and of interest only to the modest families and the modest businessmen who sold or rented those houses.It all still looks that way. But the basic conditions in play have changed radically. One key example: The main owner of modest housing in several cities across the world is now a major financial firm. It has bought up thousands of large housing complexes for low-income renters. Most recently it has acquired + 308,000 modest residential units + homes. Why?? When its $140 billion portfolio contains 231 million feet of office space, 151,000 hotel rooms, 75 million feet of retail. Why, given all those high-end properties, would it bother with low-income housing?

Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University


18.15 - 19.15 - Keynote

Massimiliano Fuksas, Co-Founder, Studio Fuksas

Chair: Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates


19.15 - 19.25 - Category winner announcements

Festival Hall Stage

09.40 - 10.20 - Talk

Luke Barnes, CEO & Co-Founder, Ideal Modular Homes


10.30 - 11.10 - Talk

7D BIM: integrating whole life costs and whole life carbon estimation with BIM

Our current research into 7D BIM will provide an innovate method for estimating the whole life costs and whole life carbon of buildings from the earliest stage of design through to completion and occupation.

James Pickard, Founding Director, Cartwright Pickard


11.20 - 12.00 - Talk


12.10 - 12.50 - Drawing Prize - Panel

Chair: Owen Hopkins, Senior Curator, Sir John Soane’s Museum


14.00 - 14.20 - Overall WAFX Winner Presentation

Chair: Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


14.20 - 13.00 - The Drawing Prize Debate

Session details to be announced


14.00 - 14.20 - Overall WAFX Winner Presentation

Chair: Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


14.25 - 16.45 - WAFX Winners’ Project Presentation


17.00 - 17.40 - Book Club

Chair: Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


19.15 - 19.25 - Category winner announcements

Main Stage

13.00 - 13.40 - Lunchtime lecture

Space Between

Architecture must create a new resonance with the world since our current relationships have become impoverished by hyper-abundance and accelerated obsolescence. For us, the space-between is the privileged path that initiates a design of the resonance. At various scales, our projects work on this indeterminate spacetime, which leaves open all possibilities of creating links with people, nature and climate. Our approach is one which moves beyond the purely aesthetic consideration of objects to create meaningful relationships: buildings are catalysts for interaction, movement and lived life.

Pauline Marchetti, Founder, Ferrier Marchetti Studio

Jacques Ferrier, Founder, Ferrier Marchetti Studio


17.40 - 18.40 - Keynote

Elizabeth Diller, Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Chair, Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival

Festival Hall Stage


10.00 - 10.40 - Space-Time – Rethinking Office Futures

Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival

Andrew Chadwick, Owner, Chadwick International - Space Strategy + Design


11.00 - 11.30 - Overall Emerging Architecture Winner Presentation

Chair: Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival


11.30 – 17.00 - Emerging Architecture Finalists’ Presentations and Q&A


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