Speakers & Convenors

UIA2014Durban Keynote Speakers

UIA2014Durban South African Hosts & Convenors

UIA2014Durban will proudly have the following people as hosts & convenors:

Andrew Makin, Mokena Makeka, Rodney Harber, Fanuel Motsepe, Edgar Pieterse, Iain Lowe , Jo Noero , Anya van der Merwe ,Kate Otten, Mpho Matsipa ,Peter Rich and Ora Joubert

Toyo Ito


Born in 1941, Toyo Ito graduated from the University of Tokyo, Department of Architecture in 1965. His main works include Sendai Mediatheque, Tama Art University Library (Hachioji campus), and National Taiwan University New College of Social Sciences (Taiwan R.O.C). He has been awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, Royal Gold Medal from The Royal Institute of British Architects, and recently the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

After 3.11, Ito energetically engages with reconstruction activities in the North East of Japan. He has promoted ‘Home-for-All’, which is a place for local residents to gather and communicate with one another, allowing them to obtain peace of mind. As of January 2014, ten ‘Home-for-All’ projects have been completed whilst a few are still under development. He has also established a private architectural school ‘Ito Juku’ in 2011, which organizes various activities promoting new thinking upon the future of cities and architecture.


Susannah Drake

United States of America

Susannah Drake is the Principal of DLANDSTUDIO in the USA, a multi-disciplinary design firm that reinvents and retrofits urban infrastructure to make it more ecologically productive. In 2013 Drake was honored with the Emerging Voices Award by the New York Architectural League; Urban Design Fellowship from the Design Trust for Public Space; and the Brunner & Young Architect Award from the AIA.


Gerardo Salinas


Gerardo Salinas studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and is currently a partner of Rojkind Arquitectos, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and a member of the Mexican College of Architects. In 2008, Salinas was named Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects’ Denver Chapter.

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Wang Shu


Wang Shu established the Amateur Architecture Studio with his wife, Lu Wenyu, in 1997; and he currently serves as the head of the School of Architecture at the China Academy of Art. He is the recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Schelling Architecture Prize 2010.


Sindile Ngonyama

South Africa

Sindile Ngonyama is the principal director of Ngonyama Okpanum and Associates, which focusses on projects in basic education, higher education, primary healthcare facilities, large scale hospital projects, rural community service centres, large scale transportation and sporting facilities. He is the current President of the South African Institute of Architects.

Joe Osae-Addo


Trained at the Architectural Association in London, Joe Osae-Addo is the CEO of Constructs R+D, an ‘innov-native’ (TM) research and development company and the Chairman of ArchiAfrika Foundation, a non-profit organisation engaged in the promotion of African design and architecture.


Dr Mongane Wally Serote

South Africa

Currently serving as: Chief Executive Officer at iARi Chairperson of Indigenous Knowledge System Of South Africa Trust Interim Chairperson of African Renaissance Foundation Associate Professor at UNISA Board member for the past three years of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) Chairman of the board at Joburg Theatres


Kjetil Trædal Thorsen


Kjetil Trædal Thorsen was born in the Norwegian city of Haugesund and spent most of his childhood on the neighbouring coastal island of Karmøy. In 1989 he co-founded the multidisciplinary architectural practice Snøhetta. Since the creation of Snøhetta, he has been instrumental in projects developed by the practice, such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt and many other projects around the world. With Snøhetta and individually he has received numerous awards and accolades.

Nadia meer

South Africa

Nadia is a member of the eminent Meer family that has made a historically valuable contribution to South Africa. Schooled in Fine Arts, she has worked as a cultural activist on international projects in the handicraft development sector, product design, interior and fashion industry for almost two decades.

An unofficial cultural Ambassador for South Africa; her work draws inspiration from traditional handicrafts and the technical skills with which it is executed; applying a contemporary relevance to ensure the marketability of designs that maintain indigenous tradition.

Passionate about the empowerment of traditional crafters, Nadia works tirelessly to establish new markets that provide ongoing economic opportunities for handicraft. She is a catalyst for many creative projects and collaborations, working with crafters, artisans, established artists and young talent alike to bring beautiful products to life in Africa and around the world.


South Africa

MANELIS is a hip-hop artist from Durban. One of the defining artists in this city’s rap development from its beginning in the mid 90’s. Introduced in the art of Hip Hop as a dancer/b-boy earlier, then theatre through high school only later opting to focus on music performance, rapping in his case.

The development of MANELIS’ sound has panned over a 10-year period through various recordings, performances and groups, more recently LUMINATI a live band he co-founded in 2010 and is referred to as an explosive mix of genres such as jazz, rock and hip hop.

MANELIS is currently involved in the international project ‘Under Madiba Skies’, which toured France in November 2013 and worldwide in 2014/2015.

George Miller

United States of America

George H. Miller, FAIA became the managing partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects in 1989. He has worked with I. M. Pei since 1975 and collaborated on many of his significant projects. Notable projects that Pei completed during this period include the Grand Louvre, Paris; the Miho Museum, Japan; the Bank of China, Hong Kong; and the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar. Other significant projects include the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas; The Musee d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg; and Choate Rosemary Hall Science Center, Connecticut where Miller acted as Managing Partner.

In recognition of his lifetime of notable contributions to the profession, George H. Miller received the highest honour bestowed by the New York State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the James William Kideney Gold Medal Award. Miller is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and served as the Institute’s National President in 2010. He is currently the President of the AIA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Institute.

Cameron Sinclair

United States of America

Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and former CEO for Architecture for Humanity, and co-author of the bestselling book ‘Design Like You Give A Damn’. He is a recipient of the TED prize, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council (2011) and an advisor at USAID. He is currently the Executive Director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, working on projects in Namibia and Ethiopia in addition to Asia and the United States.

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Burkina Faso

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a German-trained architect from the small west African village of Gando in Burkina Faso. He is the founder of Kéré Architecture and Schulbausteine für Gando (Bricks for Gando), a charitable foundation focused towards realising sustainable architecture for the growth of his community. Francis Kéré’s work has been recognised with international awards. Today, he continues to support the educational, cultural and sustainable needs of communities in Burkina Faso and around the world through architecture.

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Rahul Mehrotra


Rahul Mehrotra, architect and educator, works in Mumbai and teaches at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he is Professor of Urban Design and Planning, and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design as well as a member of the steering committee of Harvard’s South Asia Initiative.

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Mokena Makeka

South Africa

Mokena Makeka directs Makeka Design Lab, an international award-winning Architecture practice. He has advised the SA Minister of Human Settlements, sat on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Design, and is the winner of the Gold Loerie Award for Communication Design in 2011. He is adjunct professor at GSAPP, Columbia University in New York, and the WITS 2014 Resident Equity Scholar in the School of architecture and planning. He also serves on the South African Creative Industries Federation.


South Africa

Rodney Harber is a retired academic. He is practicing as Harber and Associates, architects, urban and regional planners and is also member of UNESCO/UIA Validation Panel and Education Commission. His work ranges from heritage conservation to whole towns.


Iain Lowe

South Africa

Iain Lowe is professor at the University of Cape Town where he convenes post graduate research programs in architecture. He was Fulbright scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. As a practitioner he was Project Architect for the World Bank/Government of Lesotho where he researched and designed schools for the Training for Self Reliance Project, and has designed an award winning reinstallation of Iziko South African Museum’s San Rock Art in Cape Town. Currently his research area is 'space and transformation' and the specialization in the contemporary [post-Apartheid] city. He is editor of the Digest of S A Architecture and the Digest of African Architecture.

Fanuel Motsepe

South Africa

Having lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg for 4 years, Fanuel practices as an architect and urban designer. Fanuel established Motsepe Architects Research Unit and Practice Unit Learning Apprenticeship (MARU a PULA) cc, which is equipped with a library, a computer lab, an audio-visual room, and a model-making studio. MARU a PULA engages local and international researchers and publishes research findings.ern Art in New York.

Edgar Pieterse

South Africa

Edgar Pieterse is holder of the South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He is founding director of the African Centre for Cities (ACC) and is professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town. ACC is emerging as one of the pre-eminent urban research centres on the African continent. His research stems from the boderzone between geography, planning and cultural studies with a strong orientation towards political philosophy. He is consulting editor for Cityscapes-an international magazine on urbanism in the global South. His most recent co-edited books are: Africa's Urban Revolution (Zed Books, 2014); Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities (Jacana, 2013); African Cities Reader II: Mobility & Fixtures (Chimurenga, 2011). He also authored: City Futures (Zed Books, 2008). At present he is leading a policy process to formulate the “Integrated Urban Development Framework” for South Africa.

Ora Joubert 

South Africa

Ora Joubert was head of architecture at two South African universities and the recipient of numerous design awards, with her work published in more than sixty national and international publications. She was also convener and editor of the seminal compendium 10 years 100 buildings – architecture in a democratic South Africa (Cape Town: Bell-Roberts, 2009) which received an award of excellence from the South African Institute of Architecture. She is presently preparing a companion to the latter, on the most meritorious student dissertations of the last decade.

Jo Noero

South Africa

Jo Noero has been in private practice since 1984, during which he has completed over 200 buildings. He is also currently a Professor of Architecture at the University of Cape Town. He has received many national and international awards including the Lubetkin Prize from UK, Erskine Prize from Sweden, 16 National Awards of Merit for outstanding design, 15 Project Awards and two Awards of Excellence, all from the South African Institute of Architects. Professor Noero’s work has been exhibited in many places including the Venice Biennale, Maxxi National Museum of Contemporary Art and Architecture in Rome and Museum of Modern Art in New York.


South Africa

Anya van der Merwe graduated as an architect from UCT School of Architecture in 1984, with both her BArch degree and Thesis design being awarded with Distinction. Her post-graduate studies were completed at the Architectural Association in London, where she received a degree in History and Theory (AAGradDip). She is a founding Director of VAN DER MERWE MISZEWSKI (with Macio Miszewski), and is deeply immersed in the debate towards a search for a South African architecture.

Anya has been involved in the implementation of sustainable design in a variety of projects, including the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre and most recently the SILO 1 and 2 office and residential buildings in the V+A Waterfront. No1 Silo, has recently been awarded a six star green rating from the GBCSA and also won three 2014 SAPOA awards for best commercial building, best “green” building, and overall best building.

Anya commenced teaching Design and Architectural Theory at the University of Cape Town in 1986 and her academic achievements have been fuelled by her passion for stimulating young designers to pursue their craft and contribute to the growth of a South African architecture and continues to play an active role in the examination of students throughout South Africa.

She has served on various Boards, Committees and Jury Panels for Competitions. She was recognized as an Honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (HAIA) in 2012.

Mpho Matsipa

South Africa

Mpho Matsipa is a lecturer in the Wits School of Architecture and Planning and the Director of Studio X- Johannesburg - a global creative urban research laboratory initiated by Columbia University, New York. She holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley (2014). Mpho has worked as an architect and she has curated several exhibitions, including of the South Africa Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2008). She has received several academic awards and scholarships, including the Fulbright Scholarship and a Carnegie Grant (2012-2013).Her research interests lie in developing an Interdisciplinary design research approach in Architecture, with a focus in globalization and urbanism in Southern African cities, spatial justice, public culture and representation.

Kate Otten

South Africa

Kate Otten was born in 1964 in South Africa, and graduated from the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, with 100% in Architectural Design, against the backdrop of violent struggles against apartheid oppression. The darkness of the time profoundly influenced her work, which weaves together materials, light, and landscape in a process of ‘crafting’, to create places that feed and nurture the human spirit. Kate believes that buildings have an emotional presence – ‘fulfilling the emotional and spiritual needs of the users is as important as creating a functional space.’

As an architect, she creates an overall template which allows a looseness within which the detail of the building is allowed to emerge on site. This allows for an ‘economy’ in building which she believes is relevant to the economic reality of South Africa - details are sophisticated but use simple materials and techniques, opportunities for innovating on site are made possible and a relatively unskilled workforce can be empowered to be part of the building process.

Kate is an active member of several professional bodies, involved in architectural education as an assessor/examiner, and remains deeply passionate about the promoting the contribution of women to the profession. Her work has been widely published and has won numerous awards locally and internationally.

Peter Rich

South Africa

Peter Rich, B Arch (Rand ), M Arch ( Rand ) SAIA ,SACAP, Hon FAIA, is the principle of Peter Rich Architects, an Award winning practice based in South Africa, dedicated to the creation of authentic contemporary African architecture.

He is also a founding Partner of Light Earth Designs, a collaboration based in the UK and Rwanda, set up to develop sustainable technological solutions for the developing world. Peter strives to create places and spaces that are meaningful, moving and uplifting for all who occupy them. Through sustained research into local context and conditions he develops solutions that are unique to their time and place. He believes that in this developing world context technology should empower local people, contribute to the development of communities and build livelihoods.

In Rwanda Peter Rich was employed as a Technical Advisor to the Mayor of Kigali for the Urban Planning Unit in 2008 and since then Peter Rich Architects and Light Earth Designs have undertaken several prestigious projects in Rwanda, including the design for the New Statehouse complex. More recently Peter and his practices have been working in Tanzania, Ethiopia, the UK and the US.

He teaches and lectures extensively across the World, regularly organizing exchanges between students from the US and Europe to Africa. Peter is a well known architect with an International reputation. He has been published extensively and has received numerous International Awards including: The World Architecture Festival ----WAF 2009 World Building of the Year for the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, shortlisted for the Aga Kahn award in 2013, admitted as a Fellow to Sydney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, England in 2013 and in recognition of his achievements, in 2009, he was awarded a prestigious fellowship of the American Institute of Architects.

In 2010 his lifetime contribution to African Architecture was recognized with a South African Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the profession to an architect.

Andrew Makin

South Africa

Andrew Makin formed designworkshop: sa with Janina Masojada in 1997. He is a regular writer on the City as an important enabler of an optimized South African economy culture and society. Current projects are a village for 1000 orphans, many of HIV Aids; Community Centers and Sports facilities in two historically black townships; a hotel and apartments; a range of private residential houses; and a 25 storey office building in Sandton, Johannesburg's Corporate business district.