UIA 2021 RIO have announced that, for the first time in the history of the congress, the upcoming 27th World Congress of Architects on 18-22 July will be entirely virtual.
The complete transformation of the traditional congress format follows last year’s decision to postpone the congress due to the global pandemic. Back then, a hybrid congress format was presented with online events planned from March to June followed by a smaller on-site congress in July. However, due to “the current critical status of the pandemic in Brazil and in the World”, as UIA 2021 RIO describes it, the decision has now been made by UIA and the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB) to conduct all planned events online, including the July congress in Rio.
We highly recommend that you follow the congress closely; on May 17-20 they will be premiering talks on the topic of “Changes and Emergences” that will be available as open content for two weeks afterwards. Subscribe to the UIA 2021 RIO Youtube channel to get notifications ahead of premieres and watch the talks along with a community of thousands of other architects, urban planners and more. If you buy a ticket for the congress in July, you will also gain access to exclusive live discussions and talks during the May and June events, in addition to the open content. The impact of this digital format is already making itself clear, as the online attendance rates for the online events in March reached more than 35,000 people from 159 countries, according to the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB).
Although we at UIA 2023 CPH are saddened that we do not get to visit beautiful Rio this year, the silver lining is that the virtual format will make the congress more inclusive than ever before – it already is! A virtual experience allows access for everyone, no matter their physical location or ability, and with the format comes both a lower price of admission and the absence of transportation costs, which significantly lowers the economic investment that a traditional congress represents. As a result, more people than ever before will get the chance to attend the UIA Congress’ carefully curated events from their homes or offices and will be able to network with other professionals from all around the world. Most critically, the virtual format means that more people’s voices will be heard worldwide, as essential new architectural knowledge will be shared during UIA 2021 RIO.
You will find an abundance of innovative and talented speakers throughout the congress programme, and many speakers address subjects that are very dear to our hearts here at UIA 2023 CPH, namely different approaches to sustainability in architecture that represent the thinking behind the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Rio keynote speakers Tatiana Bilbao and Francis Kéré are examples of leading figures in architecture for whom sustainability is as much a social responsibility as an environmental one. Both architects are represented in our publication “An Architecture Guide to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Volume 2”. We are looking forward to learning from the masters and discovering new voices in architecture during the UIA World Congress in Rio. Explore the programme yourself at the UIA 2021 RIO website.