‘Making Africa’ Exhibit Showcases Continent’s Innovative Contemporary Designers

Making Africa – 04 – ‘Taali M Website Design’ by Pierre-Christophe Gam 1b
'Taali M Website Design' by Pierre-Christophe Gam

‘Taali M Website Design’ by Pierre-Christophe Gam

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design,” an exhibit currently at Spain’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, focuses on a new generation of creative thinkers from and within the continent.

Over 120 artists and designers are featured, including Omar Victor Diop, Mário Macilau, Olalekan Jeyifous, Pierre-Christophe Gam, Gonçalo Mabunda, Cheick Diallo, Cyru Kabiru, and Robin Rhode.

Open now through February 21, 2016, the show is divided into four parts, spanning a diverse range of creative fields: object and furniture design, graphic arts, illustration, fashion, architecture, urban planning, art, craft, film, photography, and more.

'Alkebu-Lan 1260 AH' by Nikolaj Cyon

‘Alkebu-Lan 1260 AH’ by Nikolaj Cyon – “What would the political map of Africa look like if the continent had never been colonized by Europeans?”

'The Missing Link' by Bull Doff & Fabrice Monteiro

‘The Missing Link’ by Bull Doff & Fabrice Monteiro

The parts explore western preconception of Africa, how design provides an effective tool for Africans to communicate about themselves, the individual and their immediate environment, and contemporary African culture and its roots through objects and artifacts.

“Africa [is] a hub of experimentation, generating new approaches and solutions of worldwide relevance, and [is] a driving force for a new discussion about the potential of design in the 21st century,” says Petra Joos, a co-curator of the show.

'Jua Kali City' by Tahir Karmali, Dennis Muraguri & Tonney Mugo

‘Jua Kali City’ by Tahir Karmali, Dennis Muraguri & Tonney Mugo

Duro Olowu 'Birds Of Paradise' Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection

Duro Olowu ‘Birds Of Paradise’ Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection

From the museum:

These contemporary creations forge a link to the middle of the 20th century, when a young generation celebrated its liberation from colonialism and self-assuredly asserted its place in the world and its right to a promising future. Throughout Making Africa, examples of art and design from that era are juxtaposed with recent works. What the exhibition does not strive to present, however, is a complete picture of design in Africa. Comprising 54 nations, more than 2000 languages and cultures, and a billion inhabitants, the continent is simply too large, too complex, and too diverse for that. What the exhibition offers instead is a new story, one perhaps not yet known. It is one possibility among many for looking at Africa and an invitation to consider it from a wholly new perspective.

“Making Africa” originally opened last March at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. It will head over to Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona in March 2016. See locations and dates below.

Exhibit Locations & Dates

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Now through 21 February 2016

Abandoibarra Etorb., 2,
48009 Bilbo Bizkaia, Spain

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

22 March – 31 July 2016

Carrer de Montalegre, 5,
08001 Barcelona, Spain

'S.A.P.E. #1, The Sapeurs of Brazzaville' by Héctor Mediavilla

‘S.A.P.E. #1, The Sapeurs of Brazzaville’ by Héctor Mediavilla

'The Future White Women of Azania' by Athi-Patra Ruga

‘The Future White Women of Azania’ by Athi-Patra Ruga

'Africa’s Legends: The True Ananse' by Leti Arts

‘Africa’s Legends: The True Ananse’ by Leti Arts