In October this year, DISSENT2019 will take place over a 5 day period in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, New Zealand. This is the latest (and hopefully greatest) in a series of multi-day biennial student architecture congresses.

Each Congress begins with a theme – our most immediate predecessor, in Sydney, was AGENCY – an investigation of student agency within a rapidly evolving and expensive industry. Ours is DISSENT, an organic iteration of the previous: it is an exploration of ‘architectural activism against the status-quo’. Our intention with this has been to provide a broad, and varied event with issues both globally, and more locally relevant having a place of discussion and debate through the lens of our industrial training. Over the course of our tightly packed timetable, we aspire to draw together speaking seminars, panel discussions, design workshops, site-visits, architecture tours and other possibly more hair-brained schemes. Our list of international and local speakers is reaching a point of consolidation, with Adam Nathanial Furman, Professor Peggy Deamer, and Keefer Dunne already (publically) confirmed for attendance.

DISSENT is entirely run on volunteer time, by enthusiastic, but often time-poor students and recent graduates. For the Congress this year, we have an established Charitable Trust (under the name ASAC DISSENT2019) through which all finances flow. Sponsorship and ticket-sales entirely fund the event, and our relationship with our generous sponsors and enthusiastic attendees are ones we are enormously grateful for. The Congress, taking place across the width, and breadth (and possibly height?) of Christchurch, hopes to take advantage of a number of different venues, both iconic and perhaps underrated and less conventional. We aspire to see our sponsors, attendees, speakers, and venue hosts as collaborators, all invested in the theme and in the future of architecture.

How can SONA help?

We’re looking for schools to take an active part in the event. Whether that be through sponsorship, through helping with marketing, or with supporting keen student attendees to make the trip to Christchurch. For those still studying, and particularly those working with student representative groups and SONA, we’d appreciate your assistance in petitioning schools to support our Congress.

Our team are pushing the limits (hyperbolically) in our venue choices for the Congress. If you or someone you know has a space in Christchurch that you think would be appropriate for, or interested in hosting one of our workshop or speaking events, we would appreciate the opportunity to speak more about this.

Our committed team of sponsorship officers are in the middle of their fundraising drive. If your school, office, or part-time time work might be interested in helping financially support the event, we’d love to be in touch. We have a range of ways in which we would love to mutually support potential sponsorship partners. Please refer all potential sponsors to sponsorship@dissent2019.org and we will be in touch with more information.

Speakers / collaborators:
We are finalizing many of our speakers and workshop coordinators, but there is still space left to work in keen, and enthusiastic collaborators. If you think an academic at your university, a practitioner in your social sphere or wherever you think inspiration might take. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon – in the meantime, we are online, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posting regular updates.