Podcast Conference: Listen to the ACE-UIA International Conference on Design Competitions


The ACE-UIA International Conference on Design Competitions, took place on 25 October 2019, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

The conference brought together architects, urban planners, the public sector and international organisations. The talks provided an opportunity to reflect on the importance of quality in the built environment and how architecture competitions can act as a tool for the promotion of higher-caliber outcomes.

Read the UIA-ACE joint declaration here.

Listen to the podcast here

The conference was jointly organised by the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) and the International Union of Architects (UAI). It has been co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the EU Commission and has received the patronage of UNESCO.

Renowned French architect and planner, Dominique Perrault, gave a keynote speech at the event. Perrault gained international recognition after winning the competition for the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 1989, at the age of 36. His large and distinguished body of work includes the Velodrome and Olympic swimming pool of Berlin (1999); the extension of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (2008); the campus of Ewha Women’s University in Seoul (2008- Korean Partner Baum Architects); and the Fukoku Tower in Osaka (2010).

The rest of the day was dedicated to a series of 3 expert panels exploring the benefits and challenges of architectural competitions and how to promote high-quality outcomes :

Panel 1 // Why do we need quality in our built environment.
Panel 2 // How to promote quality?
Panel 3 // Architectural competitions creating opportunities.

Architectural design competitions (ADCs) are among the most effective ways to achieve excellence in building and community design. They yield optimal concepts and plans for a given building programme, planning or landscape design task. Because they are based solely on the quality of proposed solutions, focused on the specific needs of a carefully defined project, competitions result in high-value solutions of great benefit to end-users, adding to the overall quality of life and design excellence in the built environment. 

The International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) urge policymakers and government bodies to include architectural design competitions as a recommended procedure in public procurement laws, in order to promote enduring, excellent and responsible solutions for buildings and communities.  

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