WAF Moves to June, Adds Virtual Component

John Hill
18. August 2020
WAF 2019 Building of the Year: LocHal Public Library by Civic architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse (Photo © Stijn Bollaert)

The 13th edition of the World Architecture Festival, originally scheduled to take place in Lisbon in early December, is moving to June 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, launching WAFVirtual in its place.

As stated in a today's press release from WAF, the World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will be taking place June 23 to 25, 2021, at the FIL exhibition center in Lisbon, the original venue for the 2020 event. WAFVirtual will take place November 30 to December 4, overlapping with the original dates of WAF 2020. WAFVirtual, free for architects and design professionals, will consist of live content, talks, panel discussions, and the announcement of three special prizes: the Isolation Transformed competition, the Architecture Drawing Prize, and the GROHE Water Research Prize.

Missing from WAFVirtual is the judging of the shortlisted projects that has been at the heart of WAF since it was launched in Barcelona in 2008. The judging will move to June and remain in-person. In turn, the deadline for submitting projects for consideration has been extended, from August 14, 2020, to January 8, 2021. Details can be found in our Agenda listing for submissions. Also in June will be "keynote talks, fringe events, exhibitions, and award presentations."

WAF director Paul Finch said this of the rescheduled WAF and the new WAFVirtual:

"We have been closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic situation, and, with safety being our number one priority, have concluded that postponement of the physical festival from the original December date is the best course of action for all concerned. We are turning the challenge of postponement into opportunities to provide additional online content and to expand the WAF brand in China. We look forward to being able to meet in happier and safer circumstances next June, and thank our partners, supporters, award entrants, speakers and judges for their ongoing support."

The opportunity to "expand the WAF brand in China" refers to the first edition of WAF China, which "will take place at the end of November 2020. It will include "online awards judging, talks, and a live ceremony in Chengdu." No other details on that event are known at this time.

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