OKHA Digs into African Abstract Geometry for the Stone Rug Collection

OKHA has just released their exploration of abstract geometry in The Stone Rug Collection. Much like the emoji’s of iSpeak or the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt, the South African Nguni (Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele and Swazi) visual lineage uses graphic geometry to instantly communicate messages such as gender, social status, and uses colour to represent mood.

Eminence of Space: Cities as more feminine entities

Carlos Goni's book Lo Femenino (EUNSA, 2008) points out the difference between men and women when it comes to clothing. For men, clothes are meant to cover their nakedness. Their value is purely functional. For women however, clothes are an expression of their personality. What she chooses to wear on a particular day is a woman's way of saying who she is; her values, personality, and what she w...

Edwin Seda's Photographic Images Show Rwanda's New Kigali Architecture School In Dynamic Light

New images have been released by Edwin Seda in a recent partnership with the French Architects Patrick Schweitzer et Associés Architectes whose Kigali Architecture School architecture is inspired by the territory and by colors and shapes found in Nature. The four natural elements are represented in the conception of the building: Fire: orange color, Water: inner garden, Air: circulations, and E...

Making a Case for the Renaissance of Traditional African Architecture

Last September, Nigerian Afrobeat musician Wizkid played to a sold-out house at the Royal Albert Hall in London, joining a growing list of illustrious African musicians, such as Selif Kaita, Youssou Ndour, Miriam Makeba and others, that have performed at that prestigious venue. This event affirmed the unfolding cultural renaissance across the continent, but it also signified the rising global i...

Focus : Hassan Fathy

Hassan Fathy is the default setting for social housing in architecture. He was the epitome of sustainable no pretence living, a man whose life and work spoke more to people within his community than perhaps any other architect in the world. It is perhaps with this mindset that archiDATUM launches the inaugural Series where we will FOCUS on the architects in Africa that are larger than their work.

Why Mixed-Income Communities Are Essential for the Future of African Cities

The idea of planned mixed-class neighborhoods was first proposed by Ebenezer Howard in his 1898 book, To-morrow: A peaceful Path to Real Reform, which was later revised and reprinted four years later as Garden Cities of To-morrow. In the book, Howard offered practical solutions to the overcrowding and industrial pollution of growing Victorian cities. He wanted to build new, self-sufficient, ega...

Dicky Hokie Reimagines the Kenyan Shilling With Banknote Designs

Dicky Hokie has just shared with us his interpretation for what a contemporary Kenyan Shilling would like. In a quest to re-examine the portrait less currency envisioned in the new constitution of 2010, where the currency laws prohibit the glorification of one individual. these set of bank notes design explore a highly efficient and expressive set of design that delve deep into what he consider...

Christian Benimana on The Next Generation Of African Architects And Designers

Christian Benimana wants to build a network of architects who can help Africa's booming cities flourish in sustainable, equitable ways -- balancing growth with values that are uniquely African. From Nigeria to Burkina Faso and beyond, he shares examples of architecture bringing communities together. A pan-African movement of architects, designers and engineers on the continent and in diaspora a...

Africa’s Urban War on Street Vendors and the Missed Opportunity for Social Unity

In most great cities, street vendors are an essential part of urban life. They give a place its texture, its bustle and buzz, even its soul. With the dawn of each new day, on streets and piazzas all over the world, vendors take their places, roasting walnuts, making waffles, grilling hotdogs, setting up makeshift stages for performance or the creation of art. Most of us can’t imagine city life ...

African Modernism Exhibition at Shifteye Gallery Studios Nairobi by Manuel Herz

Manuel Herz was in Nairobi early last month to open the exhibition based on his book, African Modernism, to over 100 architects and artists who showed up. The organisers, the University of Nairobi and Goethe Institute Nairobi gave the opening remarks before Manuel Herz gave his informative lecture.

Regional Lafarge Holcim Awards 2017 Middle East Africa Winners announced

The LafargeHolcim Awards is about more than just beautiful buildings and stands out as the world’s most significant competition in sustainable design. The competition acknowledges projects and not only finished work that go beyond current standards and deliver new, surprising, or truly visionary solutions to the way we build. The fifth cycle of the competition attracted 5,085 entries from autho...

Pin Up: Iwan Baan Photographs Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio

Iwan Baan photographs the newly completed and opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio in a series of images that explore the hollowed out silos and how light and the concrete canvas interact.  

Award-winning Japanese Architect, Shigeru Ban, signs deal to design new homes for thousands of refugees in Kenya

Renowned Japanese Architect, Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize, seen as the “Nobel Prize of Architecture,” has signed an agreement to design up to 20,000 new homes for refugees, in the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in Kenya.

UJ GSA Lecture Series: Bjarke Ingels Speaks in Johannesburg on Hedonistic Architecture and the Art of Giving Form

Bjarke Ingels spoke last week to over 750 enthusiastic architecture lovers in Maboneng, Johannesburg, continuing on the Lecture series run by the Graduate School Of Architecture at University of Johannesburg. Ingels, perhaps one of the most divergent critically acclaimed contemporary architects, sort to take the audience through a journey of his famous "process" of architecture, one now made kn...

David and Peter Adjaye's Vinyl Factory: How Architecture and Music Intersects at the Highest Level

If architecture is frozen music, as Goethe said, then Peter Adjaye has been busy taking a blowtorch to his brother’s buildings. The result, released this week in the form of a limited-edition vinyl album, sees 10 of David Adjaye’s projects melted down into a liquid cocktail of electronic sounds, plucked strings and deep percussive beats, in a series of experimental soundscapes composed by his m...

UJ GSA Lecture Series: David Adjaye on Unlearning Everything and Redoing it Again

David Adjaye explored a returning to the renaissance in African architecture yesterday at the University of Johannesburg Graduate School of Architecture in an engaging heart to heart with Lesley Lokko where he implored upon the need to radically explore architecture from always the new rather than projecting upon them before the actual solution, deeper meaning or discussion of the situation is ...

Africa Architecture Awards Announces 20 Shortlists For the Inaugural 2017 Fete

The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards has just shared with us the 20 shortlisted projects out of an unprecedented 307 entered projects situated in 32 African countries. 

Building Madness: How the Boom and Bust Mentality Distorts Architecture

Architects are economically bipolar; for us it is either the best or the worst of times. And it’s not just architects. The entire construction industry is tuned to these extremes, but only architects are psychologically validated by booms and crushed by busts. All professions have a larger source of dependency—medicine needs insurance, law needs the justice system—but the construction industry ...

The Elusive Element of Regional Urban Resilience and Social Awareness in Cities

With urban sites being places where the large percentage of the population dwells to alter their economic situation, large cities have become home to high concentrations of poverty. The motivations and forms of concealing this reality have resulted in large inequalities manifest in conflict and other forms of social disability palpable in the region today. In the greater expansion, conflict can...

Shelfie: Unpacking My Library - Architects and Their Books

Did Victor Hugo prophesy technology’s coming of age to the point where print technology would combine with the art of building to have 3d printed buildings? That aside, it is claimed that Architects do not read, how true this is, is shown by the number of them who are able write about their works and the profession. The common relationship between the architect and his books is the occasional r...

Other Desires: The African City

Discussions on African cities bear diverse voices. Architects, artists, theorists, filmmakers, novelists, historians, planners and other professionals that have an impact on the continent’s development of cities come together and share their voices in one or divergent commonalities. Having this multi-disciplinary approach, gives an appropriate  kaleidoscopic view of the situation in Africa espe...

Francis Kéré envisions a Radically Simple 2017 Serpentine Pavilion

Francis Kéré has become the first African architect to be chosen to design the Serpentine Pavillion for 2017. In a selection done by a team including David Adjaye and Richard Rogers, Francis Kere proposes a characteristic and radically simple structure that he envisions as a way to inculcate the values that he has been known for with a pinch of contemporary modernism.

ArchDiaries: A Walk in the Mind of Frank Gehry

Often we have to step outside our comfort zone and experience the world over. The musings of Frank Gehry led Humphrey Mumita to take a deeper exploration of the ‘Foundation Louis Vuitton’ in Paris. Through Humphrey’s detailed account, Our new series ArchDiaries curated by Peninah Mutonga takes us for a walk in the mind of Frank Gehry;

Pin Up: Paragon Architect's Sasol Headquarters Sandton Walkabout by Edwin Seda

Four weeks ago I had the rabbit's foot fortune of visiting the new Sasol Headquarters in Sandton Johannesburg by Paragon Architects. The idea that sustainability is bland is dead now in the contemporary realm. We live in the evermore ostentatious and intrinsic ability to combine both sustainability and aesthetic within corporate architecture and the Sasol Headquarters is taking the front line t...

Small Kitchens, Tiny Toilets : The Gender Gap in Architecture

Have you ever wondered to what extent our buildings are less functional because women are not designing them? Isn’t it a pity that, globally, only a small percentage of women are involved in designing the environments that they themselves live in?

Shelfie: Cradle To Cradle

Africa is known to be the cradle of mankind as evidenced from the archeological findings in Koobi Fora and Meroe. This goes to state that the continent itself is to serve as a point of reference going forward, the book cradle to cradle, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability where the origin and life of a product is well thought through. The Authors, William McDonough is a traine...

Poems from Future Architects

In 2009, the Kigali Institute for Science and Technology in Kigali, Rwanda began the first architecture program in the nation's history. In 2011, as part of a theory seminar, visiting professor Yutaka Sho had students create poems and photographic studies of their country, using the George Ella Lyon poem "Where I am From" as an inspiration. In 2014, these students began to graduate and start th...

AfriSam-SAIA Award 2016 announce record number of eligible submissions

AfriSam-SAIA Award 2016 is underway with a record number of submissions. The award culminates in the best sustainable and innovative work in South Africa’s building sector is acknowledged and celebrated. "With a record 47 entries in the four award categories, the overwhelming response signals a resounding endorsement of the increasing importance of sustainable and innovative design practice in ...

2016 13th Cycle Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners Announced

Zaha Hadid Architects concrete beauty in the Beirut based , BIG’s “baby proofed park” Superkilen in Denmark and a comprehensive brick structure in Bangladesh’s Bait Ur Rouf Mosque were among the 6 winners of the Aga Khan awards announced earlier yesterday. The other winders were Cha'er Hutong Children's Library and Art Centre in Beijing, China by ZAO, standardarchitecture and Zhang Ke, A place ...

The Winners Of Bibliotheca Alexandrina Science City Cairo International Competition in Egypt Announced

The London based architecture studio Weston Williamson + Partners have triumphed in an international design competition to create a Science City for Egypt. Thw winning design explores the city as an underground city with only mushrooms visible at the top. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina – a major library and cultural centre – organised the single phase, open contest to receive conceptual designs fo...