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RIAI Annual Conference Westport 3 - 5 OCTOBER 2010


Sunday, October 03, 2010



Westport, Mayo, Ireland

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"The Architecture of Recovery – A 2020 Vision for Ireland"

The RIAI Conference is an annual 2-3 day event held for members to learn and experience a particular aspect of architecture, design and urban development.

From 1990 to 2008 the Annual Conference has been held outside of Ireland visiting cities that had a resonance with some aspect of Irish development. Cities have included Berlin, Vienna, Glasgow, Paris, Trieste, Barcelona, New York, Chicago, Lisbon, Bordeaux. In 2009 the RIAI Conference was brought back to Ireland and was held in Limerick.

This year the Conference,"The Architecture of Recovery – A 2020 Vision for Ireland", will be held in Westport, Ireland.

The end of the largest building boom in Ireland’s history has left the nation with the challenge of how to deal with development of the wrong type, in the wrong locations and, in the most extreme cases, with little future but demolition.

Despite significant improvements in the quality of the country’s built environment – and major advances in Irish architecture, many commentators attribute much of the crisis now facing us to the mismanagement of planning and the failure to co-ordinate private development with public infrastructure, resulting in deficits in essential infrastructure, economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Architects frequently stand accused along with planners, developers, bankers and politicians, and the task for the profession now is to showcase its value, and the importance of quality and design in architecture and urbanism:

• to deliver attractive and sustainable built environments

• to enrich our distinctive culture and heritage

• to contribute to the competiveness of our economy

• and to improve quality of life for the people of Ireland, today and for generations to come.

Last year’s RIAI strategic review explored how architects might address the challenges and opportunities of today’s crisis. One outcome of the review was a consensus that less work should not mean fewer ideas, but rather the opposite; the current recession offers a time for reflection on both the successes and failures of the past, and the resulting Action Plan 2010-13 sets out 11 key policy objectives for survival, renewal and recovery, not only of the profession but of Ireland as a whole.

This year’s RIAI conference explores these themes under the title ‘The Architecture of Recovery – a  2020 Vision for Ireland.’ A range of leading key-note speakers will address the cultural, economic, social and environmental dimension to today’s challenges, and thought provoking panel discussions will examine how architects and architecture can contribute to a vision for the future.

The conference will also showcase the ideas and problem-solving abilities of architects through the RIAI promoted 3 Twenty 10 research competition, which has invited architects to put forward solutions to the many problems facing us in the built environment; the 20 shortlisted projects will be presented in ‘pecha kucha’ format, and the conference will also include a session on the schools of architecture workshops exploring similar issues.

Notwithstanding the many crises facing Ireland today, the economy is projected to return to growth and the population estimated to reach 5,000,000 by 2020. We cannot afford not to plan for the future. The conference, and the 3 Twenty 10 research competition, is a call to architects to use the time now available to consider what kind of Ireland do we want for our children and our children’s children.

“The crisis doesn’t only make us free to imagine new models, another future, another world; it obliges us to do so.”

Paul Keogh
RIAI President


For more information:  Read the latest updates on RIAI conference 2010

Contact Catherine Bolster: 0872227613 or email cbolster@riai.ie

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