Dongdaemun Design PlazaDongdaemun Design Plaza

Seoul’s reputation as a world leader in creative design was one of the factors that persuaded the Union of International Architects (UIA) to hold it World Architects Congress in the city.

Around 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the triennial event, which is taking place at COEX Convention Center and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (ddp), 3-10 September.

Various ingredients persuaded the Paris-based association to choose Seoul as host, including how the Korean capital is an ‘accessible, affordable and adaptive city for foreign delegates’.

The congress website also mentions the city’s UNESCO Creative City of Design designation  and ‘creative architecture development policies’ as key reasons for choosing the metropolis.

Under the theme ‘Soul of City’, the congress will investigate the latest innovations and technologies in architecture, used by UIA members, through a content-rich eight-day programme.

These include forums, seminars, exhibitions, competitions, and activities geared towards architecture students who will have the opportunity to meet with today’s experts.

Also scheduled is a look at the legacy of architect Zaha Hadid, whose design portfolio includes the ddp – one of Seoul’s most famous examples of modern architecture.

“Architecture is of great significance to us, as the only country still divided into two and bracing for reunification,” said congress president Jong Ruhl Han. “Sharing architectural stories unique to Korea’s situation, and by making suggestions for further advancement, we hope this congress can contribute to the central goal of the UIA: further advancement of the human environment.”

The UIA World Congress has been held every three years since 1948, bringing together architecture professionals and students for networking and knowledge-sharing about best practices in the field. 2017 marks the congress’s third outing in Asia. The UIA is the world’s largest association of professional architects, with around 1.3 million members from 124 countries.