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Keynote speaker: Peter Rich

Peter Rich Architects
South Africa | Johannesburg

Peter Rich Architects is an architectural practice with international recognition based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the mid 60’s Peter Rich entered architectural school at the height of the apartheid oppression of the masses. Questions about inequality in the society let him focus throughout his career for a humane architecture that address social issues and empowers people.

As a young architect he took a lot of inspiration by the work of Pancho Guedes, an architect from Mozambique, who´s origin of architecture was intensively connected to local arts and culture. His respect for African worldview and culture was born out of seminal spatial studies he undertook from the 1960s to the 1990s among the indigenous people of Southern Africa. The learning, the field work and social research fundamentally changed the course and direction Peter Rich took as an architect working and living in the ever-changing African context.

Appreciating the diversity and richness of other traditions Peter Rich is trying to fuse the lessons he had learnt about African space with a more contemporary language. The great value of his work is deeply connected to the philosophy of designing with Africa instead of designing for Africa. The “with” demands a commitment process and quality time spent engaged with those for whom you are designing. Among a wide range of projects, Peter Rich Architects was responsible for several museums, cultural and community buildings, sports- and leisurecenter’s, housing projects as well as the development of sustainable neighborhoods. He has been honored for his contribution to contemporary African architecture and championing of the less privileged in the world.

In his lecture, titled “Architecture Enabling Change”, he will discuss current work engaging the physical and cultural context.

Peter Rich has been awarded the Gold Medal by the South African Institute of Architects, and is a recipient of the South African Professional Service Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. He was named an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Rich has adjudicated both national awards and international competitions as the "World Building of the Year 2009" and excellence in architecture and has taught and directed master classes across the globe. He was a curator's choice to exhibit his drawings of his organic architecture at the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale.