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On November 7 and 8, the international conference «Architecture of Migration» will take place at the National Library of Latvia in Riga, focusing on migration and its different measures from the interest points of architecture, territorial planning, and infrastructure development. Today migration is defined as one of the key concerns among Europeans — in its multifaceted nature, it takes place on global, regional, and national level at the same time.

Stories Editorial July 24, 2019

The conference «Architecture of Migration»  will look at the global migration from the viewpoint of geographical North, more precisely — how do we position ourselves, meaning the Baltic Sea Region, in the crossroads of worldwide circulation? What if we look at the planet by altering our habitual way? We may be confronted with unnoticed geopolitical and economic intentions and system of intersecting flows — networks of high–speed transport links and fiber–optic grids, opportunities for exploitation of the Arctic, abandoned border checkpoints, and urbanisation of the Baltic Sea in opposition to the drama of depopulation of the rural territories.

«With the conference theme, we aim to broaden the notion of migration beyond its preconceptions and expand its understanding. Architecture in this context is considered a system, a medium and prerequisite for movement — not merely an inhabitable building but the physical infrastructure of space and intangible connections,» state the curators, Latvian architects Dagnija Smilga and Dina Suhanova. «By the help of worldwide expertise, we want to identify future trends within the Baltic space in order to reimagine design briefs, revise policies, plan socio–economic and spatial transformations.»

The conference is a part of the series of parallel events including the meetings of the International Union of Architects (UIA) delegates of Regions I and II on November 6 and the Baltic Architects Union Association (BAUA) Student Awards 2019 on November 9. The pan–Baltic event is organized by the Baltic Architecture Union Association — Latvian Association of Architects in partnership with the Architects Association of Lithuania and The Union of Estonian Architects. Juris Poga, architect and President of the Latvian Association of Architects is convinced that the conference will be a significant event organised in Riga for the first time, with the aim to position the Baltics at the intersection of current issues related to the migration. By inviting the delegations from the International Union of Architects, the organisers aim to discuss the efficiency of the cross–border collaboration among professionals and institutional bodies to develop reasonable architecture and planning policies.


International practitioners, original thinkers, and researchers from various fields are invited to contribute with keynotes, presentations and take part in panel discussions, such as — editor and founder of the Migrant Journal Justinien Tribillon, designer Irene Stracuzzi, architecture historian and Rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts Mart Kalm, architect, researcher and curator Ignacio G. Galán, architects and sustainability expert from Gensler — Kirsten Ritchie, architects and Hosoya Schaefer Architects partner Markus Schaefer, architect and Crimson Architectural historians partner Mike Emmerik, urbanist from UrbanLab — Keiti Kljavin, Victoria and Albert Museum programme curator Meneesha Kellay, former ArchDaily editor, now ArkDes in Stockholm curator — James Taylor–Foster, head of LABLAB research and design lab — Daniel Urey, PART architect and researcher Sille Pihlak and others.

The conference is open to attendees representing diverse fields — professionals and researchers operating in the field of architecture and urban planning, policymakers, foreign and local officials operating in the field of migration policy, regional development, representatives from administrative bodies at the international level, urban and social activists, representatives from governmental and non–governmental organisations, academics, stakeholders and representatives from public and private sectors, and active society members.


Tickets and more information are available on the event’s webpage. Early bird tickets are available until August 14. The conference «Architecture of Migration» will take place on November 7–8 at the National Library of Latvia, Mūkusalas iela 3, Riga.