The Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) yesterday (November 8) commenced a three-day convention in Monrovia to raise awareness, inform the public, educate, share knowledge, exchange information and to influence decision-making at the highest level with the aim to make the entity a truly professional body.
The awareness convention, which is being hosted under the theme, “Architecture and Sustainable Progress in the Context of the Pro-poor Agenda,” is expected to bring together several professional architects.
The convention theme, according to the organizers, is inspired by the felt need for national policymakers at the highest level of government to focus attention on the natural and built environment in Liberia as they seek to promote the survival and prosperity of the country.
The context of the Convention is to make the case for architecture to be accorded a leading role in the endeavor to orchestrate the order, form, and content needed to transform the human settlement.
LIA President Sylvanus O’Connor, said the theme has been purposefully crafted with the aim of contributing to the unfolding narrative that is being built around an idea seen and considered to be necessary for Liberia’s development, based on an approach founded on a principle that seeks to be all-inclusive and enabling in addressing the individual and collective needs of the nation.
O’Connor said at the end of the convention, LIA hopes that the thoughts and ideas that emanate from the gathering will contribute to the national dialogue on how to firmly position Liberia on the path of durable and sustainable development.
He said the core thrust built around the utilization of architecture (engineering and planning) as inseparable development tools which, when properly applied, are capable of bringing immense value to the society’s quality of life and assets.
“Like most of Africa, the prognosis for Liberia’s development success is closely tied to its ability to cope with a rapidly growing population, the high rate of migration, unmatched civil infrastructure and utility services, poor and inadequate housing condition and high unemployment,” O’Connor said.
According to him, architecture that is relevant to the endeavor to find solutions in the realm of development begins with its preoccupation with conditioning and managing space relating to the diverse needs of humans.
“Combined with space planning and engineering, the prudent engagement of architecture and the rules by which it is practiced will not only lead to our towns and cities being organized, healthy and pleasant places of value to live in, but to become functionally relevant to a spatial system of interconnected parts woven into the nation’s economic master plan,” O’Connor said.