WAF Main Stage 2017

WAF 2017 Main Stage

Take a look at the first glimpse of the main stage conference programme at WAF - more sessions and details to follow!

All sessions are correct at the time of being published.

View the Festival Hall Programme
View the INSIDE Stage Programme


Wednesday 15 November 2017


Welcome to WAFX

Celebrating 10 years of the World Architecture Festival

Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival

  • The idea of performance
  • Looking back over the last decade
  • The WAFX awards programme

10.20 - 11.00

Keynote - Rafael Viñoly

Performance as space, time and architecture

Rafael Viñoly, Founder and Principal, Rafael Viñoly Architects

  • Rafael Viñoly is a former super-jury chair and keynote speaker at WAF
  • How does the concept of performance apply in his varied work?
  • How does projects range from the Tokyo Forum complex include a temporary mobile performance space he is designing in Berlin

​11.10 - 11.50

Performance in Context

Richard Francis-Jones, Design DirectorFrancis-Jones Morehen Thorp

  • Richard Francis-Jones is a multiple WAF award-winner
  • How does the approach to performance vary in his work?
  • Do we need to think about commercial buildings, residential and cultural as fundamentally different, or fundamentally similar?

​12.00 - 12.40

Performance Spaces

Alison Brooks, Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects
Jacob Kurek, Partner and Principal Middle East, Henning Larsen Architects

  • Alison Brooks is the Architects' Journal architect of the year, and was the recent Women in Architecture winner
  • How do you assess the success in the way residential projects work?
  • Jacob Kurek is Partner in charge of international projects at Henning Larsen, with substantial experience designing complex cultural projects and site-specific public works.
  • How to design successful performance spaces? What are the key factors behind award-winning concert halls and opera venues? 

13.00 - 13.40

Lunch time lecture

Francis Kéré, Principal and Founder, Kéré Architecture


14.20 - 15.00

Performance and nature, a collaborative story​

Christoph Hesse, Architect and Urban Designer, Christoph Hesse Architects

  • How can we successfully combine man-made environments with the natural?
  • What happens when international practices collaborate on the same programme?
  • What is the role of nature within buildings themselves?

16.00 - 16.40

Digital Performance - London newly modelled

Jason Hawthorne, Managing Director at Wagstaffs Design / Director at VUCITY
Gordon Ingram, Senior Partner, Gordon Ingram Associates

  • How we developed the first fully interactive 3-D model of a major city (London)
  • The implications and possibilities of this technology for designers
  • How can planning perform better as a result of accurate city modelling?
16.50 - 17.30

30:70 Icons vs. Background. Textures of building surfaces

Sergei Tchoban, Partner, Tchoban Voss Architekten

  • How can texture enhance the experience of building users?
  • What role does contrast play in establishing identity?
  • How does the idea of performance apply in buildings such as his Berlin Drawing Museum?​

The lecture is dedicated to the German release of Sergei’s book “30:70. Architektur als Balanceakt”, written together with the renowned Russian architectural historian Vladimir Sedov

18.15 - 19.15

Performative architecture: Robotics

Mathias Kohler, Co-Founder, Gramazio Kohler Architects

  • How will robotics affect the performance of the construction industry?
  • What are the implications of greater automation for architectural practice?
  • What design activities could be eplaced by machines?
19.15 - 19.25

Category winner announcements


Thursday 16 November 2017



Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival

10.20 - 11.00

Intergrated performance - the World of WOHA

Richard Hassell, Founder, WOHA
Wong Mun Summ, Founder, WOHA

  • How can different aspects of performance be integrated in significant housing projects?
  • How can landscape improve and enhance buildings and public spaces?
  • How can designers balance individual user desire with community values?

11.10 - 11.50

Movement spaces

Charlotte Skene Catling, Co-Founder, Skene Catling de la Peña Architects
Andrew Whalley, Partner, Grimshaw

  • How does the idea of movement inform the architecture of homes?
  • What happens at the scale of Disney's Tomorrowland in Shanghai?
  • Does performance have the same meaning in small and large projects?

12.00 - 12.40

Starchitecture and the city

Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano, author of Starchitecture
Michele Nastasi, Photographer, author of Starchitecture

The authors of the book STARCHITECTURE discuss key questions:

  • How do cities worldwide make use of 'starchitecture' projects?
  • What is the impact of similar towers and museums in different locales?
  • What lessons could we take from the design and visual spread that often results?


Lunch time lecture

Sir Peter Cook, Architect

14.20 - 15.00

The crisis of middle-ground architecture

Jason Flanagan, Design Director, Flanagan Lawrence

Andrew Todd, Director, Studio Andrew Todd

Chaired conversation

15.10 - 15.40

Transforming environmental performance

Manit and Sonali Rastogi, Co-Founders, MORPHOGENESIS

  • Can exemplary environmental performance be achieved in a climate such as India's?
  • What strategies can make a truly significant difference?
  • What performance measurements are relevant in assessing results?
16.00 - 16.40 Louisa Hutton, Founding Partner, Sauerbruch Hutton

16.50 - 17.30

Performing, performative, performance - an architectural comparison

Professor Stephan Gage, Professor of Innovative Technology, University College London and Fiona Zisch, PhD student, University College London

  • What roles can architecture play in respect of the broad idea of performance?
  • How do buildings play a part in the stage-set of the city?
  • What is the effect of different design attitudes to temporary and permanent?
18.15 - 19.15

Keynote - The Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, discussed

Pierre de Meuron, Partner, Herzog & de Meuron
Charles Jencks, Cultural Theorist, Landscape Designer and Architectural Historian

  • Critic Charles Jencks will present the recently completed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg; Pierre de Meuron will respond to the presentation in a 'performance' where the role of critic and architect are reversed
19.15 - 19.25

Category winner announcements


Friday 17 November 2017

13.00 - 13.40

Lunch time lecture

Sir Terry Farrell, Principle, Farrells

17.40 - 18.40

Keynote - Life, spectacle and performance

Kim Cook, Burning Man

Burning Man is a spectacular annual event in Nevada, an impossible-to-define combination of art, life and design. Kim Cook, the programme's director of art and civic engagement will introduce this ultimate performance event.

Nike footwear | Nike sneakers

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