The organisers of World Architecture Festival have decided to take the digital route and launch the WAFVirtual from 30 November to 4 December 2020. During the week, the worldwide architectural community will be engaged through live content, special prizes, talks, panel discussions and networking opportunities with peers. The hosts have also announced that registration will be free for architects and design professionals.
WAF is the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest international architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries.
Headline speakers for this unique vitual edition will include Sir Peter Cook, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. A series of talks will discuss pressing international topics including living with pandemics and winning new business in a post-Covid world, as well as looking at the very latest developments in product design, technical innovation, and emerging architects.
There will also be coverage of special prizes including the WAF/ PechaKucha ‘Isolation Transformed’ competition, The Architecture Drawing Prize, and the GROHE Water Research Prize.
Due to the global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will now take place from 23 to 25 June 2021, remaining at the FIL exhibition centre in Lisbon. The festival will continue to include live judging, keynote talks, fringe events, exhibitions, and award presentations.
WAF awards entry deadline will be extended to 8 January 2021; all completed buildings up to that date may be entered, as well as future projects, interiors, and landscape designs.
The WAF team also announced the first edition of WAF China will take place at the end of November, including online awards judging, talks, and a live ceremony in Chengdu. However, further details are awaited.
Commenting on the updated programme, WAF and INSIDE Programme Director Paul Finch commented: ‘We have been closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic situation, and, with safety being our number one priority, have concluded that postponement of the physical festival from the original December date is the best course of action for all concerned. We are turning the challenge of postponement into opportunities to provide additional online content and to expand the WAF brand in China. We look forward to being able to meet in happier and safer circumstances next June, and thank our partners, supporters, award entrants, speakers and judges for their ongoing support.
WAF’s Special Prizes
The Architecture Drawing Prize
The Architecture Drawing Prize is an international competition that celebrates the art and skill of architectural drawing. The prize is curated by Make Architects, Sir John Soane’s Museum and the World Architecture Festival. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.
Isolation Transformed Competition
World Architecture Festival and storytelling platform PechaKucha have joined forces to launch a competition for designers thinking about future post-virus environments. The competition is free-to-enter and open to all architects, designers and engineers. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.
The Water Research Prize – supported by GROHE
Universities or other research institutions investigating the architectural implications of water in respect of buildings or the built environment are invited to enter for free. The research can be current or proposed with the winner receiving a £10,000 funding prize. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.