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ARCON seeks investment in research

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Past president, Association of Consulting Architects of Nigeria (ACAN), Kitoye Ibare- Akisan (left), former General Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Architects ( NIA), Abimbola Ajayi, former NIA president, Tonye Braide and Chairman, NIA Lagos chapter, Fitzgerald Umah during the Lagos Architects Forum held in Lagos.

To restore architecture to its pride of place, there is the need for higher institutions to commit more resources to research development and deliberately execute programmes that would deepen the practice.

Asides, efforts should also be geared toward ensuring a marriage of analogue and digital procedures in the production of architectural designs for the ever complex human society, if Nigeria is to play key role in the global architectural landscape.

These were the submissions of professional architects at the opening of a Two-day International conference titled, Architecture of Place organised by the department of architecture, University of Lagos (Unilag).

The forum brought together doyens of the profession that include, Prof. Bayo Amole of the Department of Architecture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. David Hughes of the United States of America, the Vice Chancellor of Unilag, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Michael Adebamowo, head of department of architecture Unilag, Dr. Kayode Adebayo, President of Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) and others.

ARCON President, Dipo Ajayi who led the discussion, said practitioners must be a creative thinkers and set of people who pay more attention to the profession by carrying out more quality research that would enable them stand tall in the country and among their colleagues across the world.

He said to rescue the profession from its dwindling fortunes and place it on the right pedestal; the University of Lagos should transform its 40-years old department of architecture to a full faculty, where more courses would be offered for research development.

According to him, since the issue of sustainable urban development and cities designs rests on the shoulders of architects, research findings must also be implemented for growth and development. Ajayi assured architects both old and young that the association would not relent in raising the standard of practice of the profession in country, especially in ensuring compliance to the core values and global best practices.

Head of Department of Architecture, Dr. Kayode Adebayo stated that the theme of the maiden edition of the conference is apt in the 21st century, where a lot of dynamism in population growth is expected globally most especially that of the urban population with expectation of 68 per cent increase by the year 2050 of about 2.5billion more people globally while Nigeria’s population would have increased by over 400million people by the same year.

According to Adebayo, creating a befitting place for the increasing population is daunting hence the need to focus on urban centres through acceptable architecture within context of the United Nations urban agenda .
 
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe said the conference would improve the state of architecture not only through deliberations but to galvanize research and make the students more relevant locally as well as to compete globally.
   
He harped on the need for students to be innovative and upgrade into incubators or entrepreneurs, stressing that policy is already on ground to ensure that students get a degree in their courses as well as a certificate in entrepreneurship upon graduation.
   
In their presentations, Prof. Amole of OAU and the Prof. David Hughes from the United States of America, said there is the need to raise consciousness of those who want to practice architecture globally by educating them that the cultural elements of countries could be used to come forth with great building architectural designs.

In particular, the experts emphasized on adoption of Afro-centric architecture involving a distinctive manifestation of imagery and space in the modern built environment, which drives from the cultural, environmental and historical origin of the continents of Africa.


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