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RIBA International Week (3-7 July 2017)

RIBA International Week takes place from 3 to 7 July 2017, with a programme of events and keynote speeches around the theme of the New Urban Agenda.

18 April 2017

RIBA International Week will take place from 3 to 7 July 2017, with a programme of events and keynote speeches around the theme of the New Urban Agenda – the United Nation’s global strategy on goals for sustainable development and housing over the coming two decades. The Week’s programme will facilitate engagement with the UN’s Agenda for architectural practices of all sizes, and architects at every stage of their career.

The centrepiece of the week, a day-long conference with key speakers including Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, world-renowned architects including Sir David Chipperfield, Diébédo Francis Kéré and Ma Yansong, urbanists and sociologists, will explore and highlight the expertise that architects can offer in the creation of 21st-century worldwide cities.

Rapid urbanisation and migration are era defining. For the first time in history, more of us are living in cities than beyond them, but even urban success brings its own problems of overcrowding and escalating property prices. Given the current global climate, the aim of the Week is to be a voice for optimism, internationalism and sharing of ideas to show how architects really can be at the heart of better cities and places.

The RIBA International Week programme includes:

RIBA International Conference: Change in the City: opportunities for architects in the New Urban Agenda

Tuesday 4 July 2017 (TICKETED EVENT)

This day-long conference, at RIBA in London, will open with a keynote speech from RIBA Royal Gold Medalist and former Mayor of Barcelona, Dr Joan Clos. He will set the context for the day, giving an overview of the UN’s agenda, and crucially what it means for architects, and the opportunities it presents for the profession.

The conference’s morning talks will look at the topic, not only from the perspective of architects, but from a mayoral, planning and urbanist standpoint, exploring what these figures think architects can bring to the future city. The afternoon talks will focus on international case studies around three core areas from the New Urban Agenda highlighted by the RIBA where architects can contribute: social cohesion, housing and cultural heritage.

Key speakers across the morning’s talks will include architect Sir David Chipperfield, China’s esteemed architect Ma Yansong from MAD architects, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum and former politician Tristram Hunt, first elected Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson, leading sociologist Saskia Sassen and Arup Associate Director, urbanist and digital expert Dan Hill. Key speakers in the afternoon include Burkina Faso-born architect and 2017 Serpentine Pavilion designer Diébédo Francis Kéré, award-winning international practice Urban-Think Tank, South African architect and activist Jo Noero, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of LSE Cities Programme, Suzanne Hall, SHoP principal Christopher Sharples, and Director of Assemblage, shortlisted AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Hannah Corlett.

Launch of the RIBA International Prize 2018

Tuesday 4 July (invited audience)

The RIBA will be launching the call for entries for the second RIBA International Prize, including the RIBA Awards for International Excellence and the RIBA International Emerging Architect. Open to qualified architects anywhere in the world, the RIBA International Prize recognises and celebrates the best new international civic building.

Beyond Borders exhibition

3 July to 17 September 2017
London and Liverpool
FREE entry

Site-specific architectural installations will showcase the work of selected entrants, chosen by the RIBA, via an open call in response to the theme ‘Beyond Borders’. The winning designs will be built as 1:1 installations with support from the RIBA Young People’s Forum, in a guerilla takeover of the RIBA buildings in both London and Liverpool.


Monday 3 July 6pm to 10pm
FREE entry (registration essential)

The Beyond Borders installations will be launched with a RIBA Late event on the evening of 3 July at RIBA HQ in London. The evening will take an experimental format, featuring events ranging from film to performance, with open bars and live DJs.

Student masterclasses and charrette

3-5 July (invited audience)

The RIBA will engage with the next generation of architects around issues highlighted in the New Urban Agenda through a series of masterclasses, inviting architecture students from a range of international backgrounds to consider the factors redefining models of the city.

The masterclasses will be delivered by subject experts from universities and other institutions including the American University in Cairo, the Architectural Association, Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Oxford Brookes University, the Prince’s Foundation, University College London and IE School of Architecture and Design. It will culminate in a student charrette, and a series of manifestos on city-making, to be presented on the afternoon of Wednesday 5 July.

International Women in Architecture Lunch and Campaign

Wednesday 5 July (invited audience)

RIBA President Jane Duncan will host a lunch celebrating international women in architecture and invite colleagues around the world to participate in a special social media campaign.

Ambassadors' Debate

Thursday 6 July
FREE event (registration essential)

RIBA International Week will conclude with the Ambassadors’ Debate, on the theme of ‘Driving Professionalism in a Global Context’. The debate will involve each of the RIBA President’s Ambassadors sharing proposals on their area of expertise – from ethics and diversity to technology and sustainability.

RIBA President Jane Duncan commented:

‘Architects need to play a vital role in shaping our urban future. RIBA’s International Week will connect with architects, no matter where or what size their practice is, to help them understand the potential impact and opportunities of global urbanisation. Under the umbrella of the New Urban Agenda, the Week will provide explanation and inspiration, showing how the architecture profession can use its skills over the next two decades to make a valuable and long-lasting contribution to our future cities and society.’

For the full programme of events over RIBA International Week and to find out more information, please visit

RIBA International Week 2017
Monday 3 – Friday 7 July 2017
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

RIBA International Conference: Change in the City: opportunities for architects in the New Urban Agenda
Tuesday 4 July 2017

Conference ticket prices:

  • £125 + VAT Non RIBA members
  • £100 + VAT RIBA members (20% discount for members)
  • £45 + VAT Student RIBA members (sign up for FREE student RIBA membership to get this price)

20% early bird discount on all categories (deadline to qualify: 26 May)

For more information on the RIBA International Prize:



Notes to editors:

  1. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment.
  2. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates:
  3. The RIBA International Conference has been curated by Claire Barrett, Content Director at Caro Communications.
  4. Detailed information about the UN’s New Urban Agenda:

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