Last week, from 09.04.2013 to 14.04.2013, La Rinascenti (Milan Design Week) held the event Afrofuture: Adventure with africa’s makers, thinkers and dreamers.
Explore the Afrofuture
Forget what you think you know about Africa, the world’s second-largest continent is journeying to new Frontiers. Come Face to Face with this inspiring vision as you adventure with la rinascente into an aFroFuturist design culture.
La Rinascent presents a futuristic Africa
Tech-charged, idea-fuelled, space-obsessed. Forget what you know about Africa, the world’s second-largest continent is journeying to new frontiers. This Milan Design Week, adventure with La Rinascente into an Afrofuturist design culture.
La Rinascente’s flagship store will be celebrating the world’s original design festival Salone del Mobile in dynamic style for 2013 as it presents ‘Afrofuture’. Through media, events and performance, la Rinascente will demonstrate the exciting mind-shift in African technology and how it’s radically shaping new notions of design.
From South Africa’s FabLabs to Kenya’s ‘Silicon Savannah’, the tech boom in Africa is a certainty. Africa’s digital diaspora has elbowed its way into the Afropolitan conversation, but there’s a newer narrative emerging – African design.
The continent is developing on its own terms, with savvy innovators emerging from the creative quarter and rebranding their urban spaces. It’s moving away from visual clichés and forging experimental collaborations with technologists, writers, musicians, photographers, illustrators, architects, coders, developers and cultural commentators. This is a movement that’s modifying Africa’s past and present and bringing it into the future.
This Design Week, la Rinascente will show festival-goers how Africa’s newest makers, thinkers and dreamers are being spurred on by visions of the future. ‘Afrofuture’, an experimental programme curated by Beatrice Galilee, will ambitiously initiatean international design discourse around the exciting new conversations bursting out of all corners of Africa. Galilee says: ‘As the design world expands its reach beyond aesthetics to encompass networks, strategies and unexpected tactics, Africa becomes an urgent critical voice in the global conversation. In the Afrofuture we imagine the African Union as the world’s most powerful economic zone, we imagine DIY space travel and biomorphic militarized Kwazulu vervet monkeys. We present Chinafrica state TV , futuristic instruments and contemporary African pulp fiction.’
Over four days, la Rinascente invites festival-goers and consumers to journey withthem into the Afrofuture. Taking over la Rinascente’s flagship Milan store, each day’s events will bring a forward-thinking, futuristic, global game-changing version ofthe world’s second biggest continent. Whether real of imagined, the Africa of today has wrapped its arms around the world of tomorrow. Writer, Nana Ocran, who has helped develop the project for la Rinascente says: ‘Afrofuture shines a modern, pan-African light on what can, is and could happen in design in and beyond Africa, through wider, deeper narratives and experimental mash-ups with global innovators. It’s a dynamic platform to kick off the conversation about African design and to think big about how the rapidly emerging future will see mould-breaking designers coming up from the radical underground to the global mainstream.’
From robotic mash-ups and African sci-fi to bio-design and the spirit of ‘Pop Culture’ in Ghanaian-made coffins, African creatives and makers thrillingly relay the African experience from their own point of view.
Alberto Baldan, CEO of la Rinascente says: “Afrofuture is a multidisciplinary project, like Hacked last year, for which la Rinascente is happy to give its “stage” in the veryheart of Milan. In this way we pursue two aims: we give visibility to the talent ofmany designers and artists and we offer to our public an unconventional point ofview on design and its future. We like to think of la Rinascente as both incubator andspreader of creativity.”
One of Africa’s greatest tradition is storytelling. La Rinascent update this tradition by using the windows as multidimensional story portals with six stories from the African pulp-fiction masters, Jungle Jim. London based illustrator Emily Forgot brings them to life by usding set design techniques to transform the arresting comic book illustrations.
Afrikea, Il Diavolo – Party in the Afrofuture, by Paulo Moreira+Pedro Coquenão, feat. Batida Dj Set.
Thursday | 11 APRIL | 19:00 – 22:00
Lisbon and Luanda collaborate on a portuguese-angolan mash-up musical performance for Afrofuture. Wrapping the whole stage structure in angolan motifs will set the scene. Pedro Coquenão and Paulo Moreira unleash the party.