All the worlds. Just one world. Architecture 21

The theme of the 27th World Congress of the International Union of Architects - UIA2021RIO highlights the urban reality of the contemporary world and involves the role of Architecture. It expresses the diversity and multiplicity of urban forms and modes of production of cities.

Multiple cities, full of contrasts, possibilities, inequalities and right answers. There are many urban worlds requiring specific attention, for which Architecture, in its large dimension, has responsibility never too exaggerated. Our actions of planning, design and construction are of interest to all these worlds and to each one have repercussions.

In Brazil, of 210 million inhabitants, 176 million live in cities. It is a proportion that is manifested in most of the continents. The notion of finitude imposes new challenges on the search for preservation and the sustainability of environmental conditions and on urban cultural and spatial conditions.

We all live in one era. Just one world. Communications make us instantaneous and the unfolding reaches all.

In this context, architecture enriches its experience without dogmas. It stimulates the diversity of modes of intervention, the symbiosis between popular culture and that of the architects, the production of the new city of tolerance and recognition of countless contributions and preexistences. Cities that can be the desired answers to the century of the urban, respect for the environment and the needs of future generations.

Brazil has twenty metropolis and two megacities interconnected territorially. It presents city-architectures that illustrate the myriad possibilities and the enormous challenges of 21st century architecture. Slum poverty and slum dynamism architectures; the rich enclaves and the poverty of the enclaves; the public space of interaction and the space of monofunctionalism. New cities, old cities asking for our reflection of architects, thinkers of the urban, of agents producing cities, of citizens.

The intense asymmetric flows that characterize the city today are manifested in processes such as the uneven circulation and location of investments and services, the vertigo of the transit of images, products and information, and in the new social frontiers. Real estate production remains focused on capital accumulation. Environmental disasters, the depletion of natural resources, the swelling and shrinking of cities collaborate in the increase of social conflicts, exacerbating inequalities and fragilities.

The speed and scale of the changes accentuate the sense of loss of local cultural values and traditions and weaken resilience. Protectionist economic measures, exacerbated nationalisms, and struggles between ethnic groups set the clock back on history, counteracting universalism, tolerance and efforts for cross-cultural and transnational dialogues.

The globalization of the problems is accompanied by the internationalization of the professional performance. Architects and town planners working simultaneously in different countries disseminate concepts, constructive technologies and design strategies. Equal appearances everywhere, not always attentive to the contribution of local populations and their cultural heritage.

The professional practice of the architect and town planner faces a wide and complex re-signification of their social and cultural place; the possibility of crisis, but also of expansion of the field of the architect deserves a necessary and profound reflection.


The 27th World Congress of Architects “All the Worlds. Just one World. Architecture 21” will be organized around four central axis that define the core structure from which all the conferences, round tables, exhibits, workshops and other events will be grouped by affinity.

The tracks are interconnected, rather than isolated. They allow for the organization of specific approaches within the broad range of hot issues in the field of contemporary architecture and urbanism. Propositions involving a similar set of questions will be aggregated, bringing together people with common interests within a diversity of place, scale, program and approach.


This track emphasizes the practice of architecture and urbanism attentive to diversity and mixtures of cultures and the interrelationships with other professional fields, such as anthropology and politics, as well as political, social, cultural, and economic issues.

It will welcome experiences which value cultural and social diversity and encourage integration among genders, incomes, races, and world views that overcome segregation and enclaves, promoting community strengths and the conservation of both tangible and intangible legacies of different groups of people.

Here it is also worth investigating diversity in time and scale. Works welcomed will be those that foster reflection on the various urban scales and their intrinsic timelines; proposals for reoccupation of small settlements, partly conditioned by the opportunities offered by new technologies, and studies that consider an alternative pace of life, consistent with the small scale of daily life, among other approach possibilities.


This track debates the intense changes in the contemporary world and its reflections in the fields of architecture and urbanism, with emphasis on their social, environmental and technological dimensions. It will discuss the challenges imposed by new technologies, related to the processes of design and construction, and their implications for the creative and productive process of the profession.

This subject will invite works that value a vision of architecture committed to the human urban condition, seeking to contribute to combating the effects of climate change, to emergency services for the displaced populations and updating the vision of sustainable architecture, among others. Experiences that incorporate new professional arrangements will be emphasized, such as the formation of collectives, multidisciplinary teams and participatory processes.


This track has focus on the social dimensions of architecture and urbanism, taking as its theme the worldwide challenges in confronting urban vulnerabilities and inequalities, the large contingents of people living in precarious conditions in slums, tenement houses, temporary shelters, and housing units produced by self-construction or self-management, quite often exposed to conditions of great vulnerability and constant urban violence.

Preference will be given to works that contribute to expanding the forms of connection with society and participation in the decision-making processes, debating programs and actions that promote social inclusion and contribute to reversing the current trend of worsening spatial segregation. Examples are programs of slum urbanization, requalifying of buildings in downtown areas, land regularization, assisted self-construction, universalizing access to urban infrastructure, services and goods, and other proposals that may contribute to a comprehensive set of good practices.


This track guiding thread rests on displacements in general, trying to expand understanding of transience and flows on the planetary and local scale as well as their demographic, temporal and human dimensions. The speed of these new flows has contributed to consolidating a global culture and the globalization of the practice of architecture and urbanism, seeking to discuss the implications of this reality for contemporary professional training and practice.

Works welcomed in this segment track will be attempting to understand the displacement of people, goods, services, employment and information, as well as the consolidation of transnational networks, new forms of communication and new modes of socialization which have deeply transformed our ways of living. Works that address contemporary migration issues will be prioritized, from the displacement of large populations to local small settlements, the revision of the idea of national and cultural borders, the diasporas and exclusions, and interventions by architecture and urbanism devoted to addressing the ephemeral and transient, from emergency shelters to big international events.



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