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Why Afro Futurism Inspires Modern Climate Resilient Architecture!

African architects like Clara Sawadogo are reviving old construction methods with Afro Futurist Vision to create living spaces that remain comfortable as temperatures rise, without a heavy cost in carbon emissions.

African Architecture characteristics include the use of local materials, vernacular design, and adaptation to environmental conditions. It doesn't fight nature it is nature!

The needs of an increasingly threatened global ecosystem has triggered a surge of interest in afro-futuristic Architectural design a cultural movement that combines African culture and identity with technology and science possibility, which is heavily influenced by black science fiction expressed in Movies Like Black Panther and books like “Parable of the Sower” and “Parable of the Talents” by Octavia E. Butler. Many consider Butler the grand dame of Afrofuturism. African architecture is characterized by its diversity, with styles and materials varying depending on the region, climate, and cultural influences. Common characteristics include the use of local materials, vernacular design, and adaptation to environmental conditions.

"It’s a sweltering 90F in Kaya, the midday sun beating down on the low-slung city in central Burkina Faso. But inside the Morija Medical Clinic on the outskirts, vaulted ceilings made of pressed adobe keep the temperature several degrees cooler. “Burkinabé builders have used mud for generations to build smaller dwellings, but also multistory buildings and impressive mosques,” says Clara Sawadogo, the 35-year-old Burkinabé architect who worked on the clinic with Switzerland-based firm Nomos Architects, placing her hand on a massive earthen wall. “Can you feel it’s cooler? That’s because the walls are breathing, literally. The mud lets the air circulate. Unfortunately, much of the technique has been forgotten.”

AfroFuturists imagine organic, sustainable and nurturing living spaces. This example has solar windows for power generation!

"Afrofuturism... really about blending things that were existing in a lot of different African cultures, then creating them as if they had evolved over time and inserting that..." Mark Kamau, an interaction designer from Nairobi, Kenya, said this about the Afrofuturism revival that is changing the global perceptions of African creativity. "It's about thinking what images and stories and perspectives we're projecting for the younger generations," Kamau told, in an interview following his own Design Indaba presentation. "I think it's important that we start creating a different narrative for Africa and that's what this movement is doing," he said. "Design is the most powerful tool to transform Africa."

Designers like Kamau and Architects like Sawadogo are at the vanguard of young architects inspired by West Africa’s arid Sahel ancient technology and building materials who employ traditional building techniques, using mud, wood and stone to construct modern buildings adapted to the changing climate in a places that are experiencing increasing drought, fluctuating rainfall, and other extreme temperatures. Among their contemporaries are Mariam Kamara from Niger and the world-renowned Burkina-born and Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel in the field.

In 2014, a crowd of demonstrators stormed Burkina Faso’s National Assembly building, setting it ablaze and ending the nearly 30-year rule of President Blaise Compaoré. A year later, Burkenabè architect Diébédo Francis Kéré was asked to imagine a new parliamentary building — one that would reflect a more democratic future for the West African nation. Kéré conceived a six-story stepped pyramid that slopes up gently from the ground, inviting citizens to gather, climb and take in views of the capital city, Ouagadougou. The ruins of the former parliament building next door would be transformed into a rainwater-collecting memorial park. Now with the income earned by Burkina Faso taking control of its own resources those projects can be imagined and built in a way never expected prior to Ibrahim Traore's rise as the leader of Burkina Faso and an icon for African freedom from Western exploitation and resource theft.

Kéré’s work is focused on promoting stability and sustainability in some of the world’s most vulnerable and threatened places. He’s turned his studio in Berlin into a laboratory for research on materials that can both withstand and deescalate climate change. With his Germany-based nonprofit association, Kéré Foundation e. V., he’s designed and built schools, hospitals and public buildings in countries with limited resources that are facing extreme weather.

Work by Architect Zaha Hadid Influenced by Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko,(All heavily African influenced) she used calligraphic drawings as the main method for visualizing her architectural ideas. For Hadid, painting was a design tool, and abstraction an investigative structure for imagining architecture and its relationship to the world we live in. Modernist artists such as those previously mentioned and Brancusi, Leger, Rodin, Braque and many others were drawn to African sculpture because of its sophisticated approach to the abstraction of the human figure. This aesthetic can be seen over and over in 21st century architecture that seeks to bring back the organic living nature of African design in order to combat the static repressed boxlike utilitarian nature of most Bauhaus influenced modern architecture. Bauhaus abandoned Renaissance inspired architecture of orderly arrangements of columns, semi-circular arches and domes, with a focus on symmetry and geometry combining masculine and feminine aesthetics.

Mall Interior Inspired By Architect Zaha Hadid


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