By Obert Chakarisa, CEO of the South African Institute of Architects
The first Monday of October each year has been set aside as World Architecture Day, when the International Union of Architects (UIA) calls for the world’s population to be reminded of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. South African professional architects are represented on the UIA through the membership of the South African Institute of Architects, a body of architects whose membership exceeds 2 500.
This year’s World Architecture Day will be celebrated on 2 October, and the selected theme is “Climate Change Action!”. The tone of the theme demonstrates the urgency in which our collective efforts must be galvanised towards ensuring responsible and sustainable design of our habitat.
The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) fully supports all of the efforts currently being mobilised globally in implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, to combat the impact of climate change on the environment and humanity.
SAIA would like to take the opportunity to call upon members of the public, all three levels of government and the built environment at large to insist on engaging professional architects for all building projects, so that they can tap into the expertise of the crème of the architectural profession. Over the years, SAIA has noted with regret that the critical role professional architects play in the built environment is not understood, and in fact is undermined.
As we celebrate World Architecture Day, let’s take the time to look around our environment, marvel at the work of professional architects and contemplate initiatives that will assist in being mindful of the climate-change agenda.