This autumn will be a high watermark for Korea’s meetings industry this year when approximately 30,000 industry professionals come together for the UIA (International Union of Architects) 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress. The large-scale event will utilize two of Seoul’s top event venues, with the congress itself taking place at Coex from September 3 to 7, followed by the UIA General Assembly at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (ddp) from September 7 to 10.
Several merits of Seoul were lauded as factors for its selection as the host city, including how it is an “accessible, affordable and adaptive city for foreign delegates.” The UIA 2017 congress website also mentioned the city’s UNESCO Creative City of Design designation, cultural heritage, and creative architecture development policies as key reasons.
Under the theme ‘Soul of City’, the congress will cover topics on how to revive the soul of a city through the five realms of architecture, namely culture, nature, future, passion, and human value. Specifically, it will discuss the influence of cultural heritages of cities in architecture, identify present ways of pursuing sustainability through architectural design, and explore the latest architectural innovations and technologies through a range of scheduled programs. These include forums, seminars, exhibitions, competitions, and activities geared towards architecture students who will have the opportunity to meet with today’s experts.
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon will be the among the invited speakers, addressing the topic of “Seoul, A Sharing City-Pursuing Democracy In Public Spaced Throughout The City”. Also scheduled is a look at the legacy of architect Zaha Hadid, whose design portfolio includes the ddp, one of Seoul’s most famous examples of modern architecture.
“Architecture is of great significance to us, as the only country still divided into two and bracing for reunification,” said congress president Jong Ruhl Han. “Sharing related architectural stories unique to Korea’s situation, and by making suggestions for further advancement, we hope that this congress can contribute to achieving the central goal of the UIA: further advancement of the human environment,” he added.
The Seoul event is being overseen by the UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress Organizing Committee, with financial support being provided by a range of public and private sponsors. Among these is the Korea Tourism Organization, whose Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) division regularly provides a range of support programs and packages for international events hosted in Korea. More information is available at www.koreaconvention.org.
The UIA is the world’s largest association of professional architects, with around 1.3 million members from 124 countries. The UIA World Congress has been held every three years since 1948, bringing together architecture professionals and students for networking and knowledge-sharing about best practices in the field. 2017 marks the congress’s third outing in Asia.