In a world burdened with humanitarian crisis stemming from rural urban migration, population bulge, conflict and the latest addition — Climate Change, architects have their work well cut out by responding to the multifaceted socio-economic challenges of the current century through their creative imagination and intuition, experts have said.
Eggheads who spoke at the 11th edition of the Lagos Architect Forum (LAF) said architectural professionals must continue to bridge the gap between nature and humans.
Ms. Stefanie Theuretzbacher, Director and lead architect of Studio Elemental Lagos, while x-raying how some of her works had meaningfully impacted lives and the environment in Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Iraq where she had worked, said that architects must conceptualize designs targeted at futuristic solutions.
She noted that the current century would be shaped by how architects react to spatial diversity, cultural vibrancy, urban interventions and the intersection of various territories.
According to Theuretzbacher, the humanitarian crisis the world is grappling with has made it imperative for architects to come up with concepts that will help address the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other victims of social conflicts.
“For instance in Iraq, we were able to adopt the old cultural settings of the (beleaguered) Kurdish people who are being fought by the Iraqi army to produce the best forms of design for the inhabitants to cohabit and survive,” she spoke of her work.
On her own part, Ifonima Essien, an architect and project manager noted that architecture has transited from era of having only Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence to social intelligence.
While challenging architects to acquire the needed soft skill set to compliment their technical background, Essien tasked architects on the need to develop conflict management, reflexive learning and system thinking tools.
Speaking on a recent travail that beset the profession in the country, he urged architects “to mend all the fences in the profession to ensure other allied professionals don’t make incursion into the practice.”
In his remark, a former President of the NIA and African Union of Architects, Charles Majuro, pointed out that the membership registration tussle between the NIA and Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) had been addressed.
Majuro stressed on the need for students of architecture and associate architects in the country to register for all the qualifying exams that will enable them pursue their architectural career.
Drawing curtains on the 2019 edition of the forum, the Chairman of NIA, Lagos Chapter, Fitzgerald Umah announced the theme of next year’s LAF to be ‘Architecture Now, the City of Lagos in the next 25 years.’ He stated that the body will continue to build on the past successes recorded by the forum.
“Without constant training, retraining, and development of the architects, we cannot cope with the present demands of our environment with the advent of smart cities, sustainability and the present economic state of the world,” Umah said.