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JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has challenged architects being trained by the University of Technology (UTECH) to not just become qualified as good architects but be qualified as good Caribbean architects because of the many challenges facing the region.
He said the challenge is how to harmonise man with the space in which he lives which is influenced by the culture, history and how we as Caribbean people share that space. The challenges are many, Mr. Golding says, as we have been overtaken by human settlement activities.
Mr. Golding was speaking this morning (Feb 29) at the opening ceremony of a 2-day international symposium on Caribbean Modernist Architecture put on by the University of Technology (UTECH) in association with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Caribbean School of Architecture, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
‘We are going to have to normalize and institutionalize so much of what we see around us which has resulted from our inability to plan and to design, and accommodate what the environment has provided for us . The mushrooming of informal settlements is one of the challenges, where people just occupy space. If you look at our rural communities and our road network, they were never laid out in any planned way’, Mr Golding said.
He noted that Jamaica has the second highest road density in the world because of this lack of planning. Governments he said, have been struggling over the years trying to bring development to these communities and that one of the challenges will be how to get around all of this and to bring it into conformity with some of the broad rules of planning, land use and architecture.
Mr. Golding said this is going to challenge the thinking of trained people who may have to stretch the rules in order to bring it into the reality but keep it into the confines of acceptable living.
Mr. Golding commended UTECH for taking the lead as one of the tertiary intuitions which has broadened and expanded the range of tertiary offerings to a great number of Jamaicans. The University not just offers a first degree in architecture but now has a masters degree and is soon to establish a school of dentistry which is now the only frontier not yet covered by the institution.