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African Modernism: Architecture of Independence

Lecture date: 2015-04-30

Ingrid Schröder, Manuel Herz, Rachel Stella Jenkins & Alex Warnock-Smith

From the 1950s through to the 1970’s Sub-Saharan Africa became home to an explosion of architectural experimentation.  These largely undocumented projects coincided with the majority of the continent’s independence movements, and came to represent the mixed priorities of new nationhood and the contentious legacy of European influence.  

Manuel Herz and Ingrid Schröder will be chairing a discussion on the role of this architecture in the development of national identity, and its subsequent absorption into the urban fabric in cities such as Dakar, Accra, and Abidjan.  The discussion accompanies the launch of their book ‘African Modernism’ which documents and the architecture of Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia.

Ingrid Schröder is an architect and academic who directs the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Cambridge. She studied at the University of Cambridge and at the LSE.  She has taught in Cambridge since 2001 and served as a Lecturer on Urban Theory, and Design Tutor here, at the AA and ETH Zurich.

Manuel Herz (AA Dipl) is an architect based in Basel. His projects include the new Synagogue of Mainz. He is the author of the book “From Camp to City: Refugee Camps of the Western Sahara”. Herz has taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was a visiting professor for architectural design at the ETH Zurich.

Rachel Stella Jenkins (born in Mozambique) has been engaged in driving and steering an ongoing dialogue on African urbanism with various platforms and organisations over the last 7 years. She is the founder of genuinefake a multidisciplinary platform working together with design and architecture offices engaging with projects on how cities are changing, how cities can learn from one another and how citizens interact with cities. She is currently setting up Ka’ssa, a network of young london-based architects with a distinct gaze on African urbanism.

Alex Warnock-Smith is an architect and academic based in London. Alex is Director of Urban Projects Bureau Ltd, and is a Course Master at the Architectural Association Graduate Housing and Urbanism programme, and a Design Fellow at the University of Cambridge MPHIL in Architecture and Urban Design.

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