18TH ANNUAL GEOFFREY BAWA MEMORIAL LECTURE
By Sumayya Vally
The Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa is now regarded as having been one of the most important and influential Asian architects of the twentieth century. Although best known for his private houses and hotels, his oeuvre also includes schools and universities, factories and offices, public buildings and social buildings as well as the new Sri Lankan parliament.
The Geoffrey Bawa Memorial Lecture is an annual event organised by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust which coincides with Geoffrey Bawa’s birth anniversary. The 2021 edition of the Memorial Lecture, which was postponed last year, will be held on Thursday, 12th May 2022, at the Bawa designed Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo 07 at 6.30 p.m. The lecture will be delivered by South African architect Sumayya Vally – the principal of the inter-disciplinary architectural studio Counterspace.
Sumayya Vally’s work around narrative, identity and memory in the city have admitted her into a host of conceptual and investigatory projects, including a position as assistant curator and film producer for La Biennale di Venezia 2014 (South African Pavilion). Sumayya has recently been selected as a finalist (top 3) for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation architecture residency prize (2019) and was a finalist for the Rolex Mentorship and Protege award (2018/2019). In 2021, she was named in the TIME100 Next list celebrating as one the world’s leaders primed to shape the future. Alongside Saad Al-Rashid, Omniya Abdel Barr and Julian Raby, Sumayya will be a curator of the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale to be held in Jeddah in 2023.
Sumayya’s design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identities and contested territories. Her love for Johannesburg serves as her laboratory for finding speculative histories, futures, archaeologies, and design languages; with the intent to reveal the invisible. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2020/1, the youngest architect ever to receive this prestigious commission.
Admission is free. Limited seats are available, prior registration is required. Please visit https://geoffreybawa.com/memorial-lectures to register.
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