Norman Foster Foundation Workshop 2022 – Cities: Affordable Housing

The Norman Foster Foundation Cities: Affordable Housing Workshop 2022 took place from 14-18 November with the support of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

How do we deliver affordable housing in our cities? The 2022 NFF Cities: Affordable Housing Workshop looked at how the various stakeholders can meet demand for housing in cities while exploring what architecture and design can do to meet the challenge. The provision of Affordable Housing in our cities is central to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals and for people to continue to thrive in our cities through a period of urbanisation. The challenge is unprecedented. We are facing rapid and unplanned urbanisation, climate change together with an energy crisis and rising cost of living, migration, and the financialization of housing. Productivity in our construction industry has remained flat for decades and we are slow to adopt new methods and technologies. We have resource scarcity leading in part to rapidly increasing material prices and a big carbon footprint associated with our traditional materials and methods.

The Workshop explored this problem through three lenses: (i) innovative design and construction, (ii) urban planning and placemaking and (iii) social and public matters. With contributions from a multidisciplinary range of leading experts, the Workshop addressed the provision of affordable housing in cities of different contexts globally. The workshop was supported by the Holcim Foundation and represented an opportunity to join an exceptional network of experts working globally to find sustainable solutions to the built environment.

The Workshop’s Academic Body brought together a wide range of practitioners from different fields related to housing. The Academic Body included: Alejandro Aravena, Executive Director, ELEMENTAL, Santiago, Chile; ELEMENTAL Copec Chair, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Peter van Assche, Founding Principal, bureau SLA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Lector of Architecture and Circular Thinking, Amsterdam University of the Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; STO Foundation Visiting Professor, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany; Tatiana Bilbao, Principal, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico; Jonathan Ledgard, Founder, Rossums Studio, Lausanne, Switzerland; Director, Afrotech Future Africa Initiative (Afrotech-EPFL), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland; Susana Saiz, Director, Arup Spain, Madrid, Spain, Stuart Smith, Director, Arup Germany, Berlin, Germany and Maria Vassilakou, Former Vice Mayor, Vienna, Austria. As Mobile Workshop Members, it will also include: Arenas Basabe Palacios Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain; Javier Camacho and Maria Eugenia Maciá, Founding Directors, cmA Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain; Professors of Architectural and Construction Projects, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Madrid, Spain and Francisco Javier Sáenz Guerra, Professor of Architecture and Design, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Madrid, Spain.

After reviewing hundreds of applications submitted by candidates from around the world, the selection committee awarded ten scholarships to students from the following universities and institutions: Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC); Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States; Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich), Zurich, Switzerland; Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD); the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, Technische Universität München (TUM), Munich, Germany; South Africa and Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Columbia University, New York, NY, United States.