Safdie Architects, Herzog & De Meuron And Atelier Ten Join Line-Up Of Luminary Speakers At WAF 2023

Published
08 Nov 2023

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4 min


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The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced its speaker line-up for its upcoming 2023 World Architecture Festival which will take place from 29 November to 1 December, 2023 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

At this festival, Safdie Architects Senior Partner/Director Charu Kokate will give the opening keynote address on the Main Stage at the World Architecture Festival, the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event.

The festival will welcome a stellar line-up of 75 speakers and presenters across two stages over the three-day event, including established international architects, The Jencks Foundation/The Cosmic House keeper of vision Lily Jencks, Atelier Ten Founder and Executive Chairman Patrick Bellew, Mario Cucinella Architects founder Mario Cucinella, RSHP Senior Partner John McElgunn, Herzog & de Meuron Partner Wim Walschap; OBMI Design Director Islam El Mashtooly, and Verform Founder and Design Principal Mouaz Abouzaid.

For the first time since 2015, the festival will take place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 29 November to 1 December 2023.

World Architecture Community is official media partner of World Architecture Festival and INSIDE 2023 and we will be bringing you the latest news about the festivals’ speaker line-up and sessions.

WAC readers can receive an exclusive 20% discount over delegate passes for WAF and INSIDE by entering this promo code online: WAC2320. Start your registrations on WAF’s website.

Joining Charu Kokate, local speakers will include Archurban Architects Planners Chairman Tan Cheng Siong, ArtScience Museum Singapore / Attractions at Marina Bay Sands Vice President Honor Harger, and The Press Room Creative Director Kelley Cheng.

The Inside World Festival of Interiors (Inside), which runs alongside WAF in Singapore, has also revealed two keynote speakers that will be headlining at the event with Adrien Gardère, Founder, Studio Gardère and Kelley Cheng, Creative Director, The Press Room taking to the stage alongside Nigel Coates, Director, World Festival of Interiors.

As well as architects and designers from leading global practices, the diverse speaking programme for both WAF and Inside includes commentators from leading educational institutions and city planners, including Sir Peter Cook, Director, Cook Haffner Architecture Platform (CHAP); Tarek Qaddumi, Executive Director of Urban Planning, NEOM; Tashi Penjor, Architect and Chief Planner, Royal Government of Bhutan with Jonathan Rose, Director, Prior & Partners; and Trevor Boddy, Architecture Critic + Curator, Trevor Boddy Consulting Urban Designer chairing a discussion with Johanna Hurme, Principal and Sasa Radulovic, Partner at 5468796 Architecture.

WAF’s programme theme is Catalyst

This year’s programme theme is “Catalyst”. Architecture and design can be catalysts for beneficial change because they can enable, accelerate, or inspire interaction across our entire built environment, to the benefit of both individuals and institutions.

“Catalyst” will explore the potential for people to find opportunities for fulfilment, personally and collectively, through multiple and varied interactions with community, ideas, experiences, and place.

The Festival Hall Stage comprises technical sessions, talks, discussions and a showcase of the WAFX Award winners celebrating international proposals which embrace cutting-edge design approaches to address major world issues ranging from tackling the climate emergency to building community resilience.

“We are excited to be hosting inspirational speakers from such a wide variety of geographies and backgrounds. We look forward to stimulating presentations and thought-provoking ideas that will form part of the ‘big conversation’ that takes place at WAF each year,” said Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival.

The full agenda can be viewed in the WAF Delegate Guide here.

View full list of the speakers here.

WAF and its co-located event, Inside World Festival of Interiors, will welcome the world’s leading architects and designers for three days of talks programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events, showcasing leading international practices, the best new projects, and most pressing live debates.

Meanwhile, see the shortlisted projects for the 2023 World Architecture Festival, and see the shortlisted projects for the 2023 INSIDE.

Top image in the poster (from left to right): Charu Kokate, Wim Walschap, Kelley Cheng, Patrick Bellew, Honor Harger, Peter Cook, Johanna Hurme, Islam El Mashtooly, Mario Cucinella, Lily Jencks, John McElgunn, Mouaz Abouzaid (all images courtesy of WAF). 

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