Venice Biennale to Spotlight Architects from Africa and the African Diaspora | Kanebridge News
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Venice Biennale to Spotlight Architects from Africa and the African Diaspora

By V.L. Hendrickson
Thu, May 18, 2023 8:39amGrey Clock 2 min

The 18th edition of Venice Biennale di Architettura, dubbed The Laboratory of the Future, is set to kick off Saturday in the Italian city. This year, for the first time, the event will showcase sustainable designs from architects from Africa and the African diaspora.

Titled Guests of the Future, the exhibition’s theme is decolonization and decarbonization, and will highlight projects that have found architectural solutions for issues ranging from sustainable materials to housing issues to erased histories, according to the Ford Foundation, which, along with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is supporting the architects’ international travel to the event.

“As is the case with many elite gatherings and institutions, access to entry has been high, leaving a diverse pool of talent from displaying their expertise, and we’re hoping this will help open doors for other innovators in architecture and design from all backgrounds well into the future,” the Ford Foundation said in a statement.

This year’s Biennale, which runs through November, is curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect, professor and novelist Lesley Lokko, who is also the founder of the African Futures Institute, established in Accra, Ghana.

“New technologies continuously appear and disappear giving us unfiltered glimpses of life in parts of the globe we will likely never visit, much less understand,” Lokko said in a statement on the event’s website. “In Europe we speak of minorities and diversity, but the truth is that the West’s minorities are the global majority; diversity is our norm. There is one place on this planet where all these questions of equity, race, hope and fear converge and coalesce. Africa.”

More than 20 projects were selected from across the continent, as well as locations from France to Fez, Morocco—the majority of which were developed by an individual or a team with five people or fewer, according to organizers.

That includes Nzinga Biegueng Mboup, a Senegalese-based architect who worked with Adjaye Associates for three years. She is now collaborating with Elementerre, a construction company specializing in local and 100% recyclable building materials, such raw earth and plants, that require less energy to create and are more suitable for hot climates.

Or the woman-owned, New York City-based Riff Studio. Its three-person team combines backgrounds outside of traditional design practice: building construction, historical research, and architectural pedagogy, respectively. “Our designs are riffs produced from dialogues between these distinct realms, as we contemplate the future of housing,” according to the firm’s website.

There’s also MOE + Art Architecture: a Nigerian firm “that is emerging as one of the leading design houses in Africa for their work to redefine African modernism,” and Cartografia Negra, “a collective based in Brazil that is working to reposition places in Sao Paolo that were used for the execution, sale, torture, and execution of enslaved people,” according to the Ford Foundation.


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Designing Dreams: David Charette’s fascinating Spaces for Children’s Adventures

David Charette has teamed up with CIRCU Magical Furniture to design spaces that capture the essence of childhood wonder.

Tue, May 21, 2024 4 min

This collaboration between David Charette, founder and principal of Britto Charette, and CIRCU Magical Furniture aims to stimulate the imaginations of children, encouraging them to invent their own tales of adventure. Drawing on his extensive travels, Charette believes that journeying through different cultures can spark creativity in young minds.

His latest venture uses a mix of luxury elements and magical themes, incorporating products from CIRCU, Covet House, and other vendors to create unique, enchanting children’s rooms. These spaces are designed to reflect the excitement and mystery of exploring new worlds.

The Sleeping are:

David Charette has transformed a Montreal residence into a magical sleeping area where time seems to pause, and adventures await. Known for its long, cold winters and short days, Montreal served as the perfect backdrop for Charette’s vision of a space that remains warm and bright throughout the year.

Central to the design is the concept of “light and bright,” brought to life using de Gournay‘s hand-painted wall coverings in fresh mint, decorated with flying butterflies. These elements beautifully complement the original shapes of the KOKET Nymph Wall Lamp and the organic curves of the CIRCU Tristen Bed.

Charette’s attachment to the Tristen Bed stems not only from its youthful appeal but also from its ergonomic design, which makes it easy for children to climb in and out of, enhancing both its functionality and charm.

The Bed:

Charette paired the modern lines of the bed with the unique design of the Boca do Lobo Wave Nightstand and the funky style of Delightfull’s Billy Table Lamp. By blending these contemporary pieces with the classic elements in the decor of this luxury kids’ room, Charette has crafted a unique space that breathes a natural breeze of inspiration into any child’s environment.

This combination not only adds aesthetic appeal but also stimulates the imagination, making the room a perfect sanctuary for creativity and dreams.

The seating area:

The room also includes a cozy seating area perfect for young readers. Centred around the CIRCU Dainty Armchair, this space is tailored for kids, with the chair’s delicate structure and elegant design enhancing the room’s charm. Its pink velvet upholstery adds a vibrant pop of color, enriching the room’s palette. To distinctly separate this reading corner from the rest of the sleeping area, Charette chose the Boca Do Lobo Gold Folding Screen from Covet House, which not only adds an element of privacy but also contributes a touch of sophistication to the space.

The Play and Study area:

David Charette aimed to create a space with an “Out of Africa” vibe to spark a child’s imagination and inspire a passion for lifelong adventures and travels. Drawing from fond memories of camping during his own childhood, Charette incorporated a Teepee Tent into the room’s design, allowing children to feel as they are camping in a forest right within their own bedroom.

This nature-inspired theme is beautifully complemented by the Fornasetti wall coverings from Cole & Son and the Filigree Cricket Wall Lamp, which are insect-shaped sconces by Boca do Lobo.

Adding to the ambiance, Charette notes, “The clouds on the ceiling further the idea of camping (in this case “glamping”) and dreaming, and the Circu Cloud Suspension lamps add to the dreamy camping vibe.”

To maintain this adventurous theme, Charette selected the CIRCU NODO Suspension Chair. It not only brings a hint of outdoor fun indoors with an elegant flair but also offers a comfy spot for kids to unwind and lose themselves in their favorite stories.

In his design, David Charette, of Britto Charette, focused on enhancing the sense of freedom and sparking children’s imaginations in their own space. He chose one of his favorite pieces from CIRCU, the Sky Desk, for its playful design and inspirational form. Shaped like an airplane, this desk not only becomes the central feature of playtime but also transforms homework into an exciting adventure. The unique design aims to captivate and motivate young minds, turning everyday tasks into a flight of imagination.

David Charette designed this luxury children’s room with the hope that it would inspire children to dream, play, and develop a deep respect for nature as they embark on their own adventures.

He crafted the room to be “transitional,” capable of evolving with a child from toddler years into adolescence. This design approach not only aims to create a lasting, imaginative space for children but also to show parents the value of investing in unique, high-quality pieces like those from Circu. These carefully chosen items stand out from mass-produced children’s designs, offering both aesthetic appeal and long-term utility.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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