February 26, 2024 11:24
MORE TAKE ON AFRICA – BME Projects in FUGA Exhibition: Exploring Architectural Legacies in Africa

Step into the realm of architectural brilliance at the MORE TAKE ON AFRICA exhibition at FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of architectural achievements, featuring renowned architects and their contributions, including public buildings in Niger during the 1980s or the legacy of revered modern Egyptian architects. Additionally, discover a visionary architect, addressing the intersection of generative AI and the future of mass housing projects. This innovative approach specifically focuses on alleviating the housing crisis in the Global South, with a keen emphasis on Egypt. Go for the exhibition of how these architects shape the narrative of African architecture, bridging temporal and geographical boundaries.

Exploring the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

The MORE TAKE ON AFRICA exhibition at FUGA stems from the Department of Explorative Architecture's participation in the TimeSpaceExistence Exhibition 2023 in Venice. Under the theme "OUR TAKE ON AFRICA," the projects showcased in Budapest extend the narrative with additional plans, mock-ups, and photos that were virtually present in Venice, transcending the physical limitations of installation. This is how the MORE TAKE ON AFRICA exhibition came into existence in the FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture (21 February 2024 – 10 March 2024)

Architectural Legends at the Core

The installation, connected to this year's theme of the Venice Architectural Biennial, displays the Department's activities with a focus on Africa from the past seven years. The composition represents the working method in which exploring a topic begins with field research to gain a deep understanding of the issue. Then, based on analyses at the instructor/doctoral level, it is possible to take care of student design tasks that use and translate the research results into the diverse language of the plans. Following this dynamic, two exhibited projects concern the life works of architects constituting Africa. One of them is about László Mester de Parajd and his outstanding public buildings and vernacular collection in Africa.

Public building in Niger - László Mester de Parajd

László Mester de Parajd's impact on African architecture is profound, evident in his work designing public buildings in Niger during the 1980s. His environmentally conscious design principles, coupled with a respectful integration of local architectural traditions, set a monumental precedent far ahead of its time. The exhibition sheds light on his outstanding public buildings and vernacular collection in Africa, showcasing a rare blend of sustainability and cultural sensitivity.

The exhibition also pays homage to Hassan Fathy, the revered architect of modern Egypt. Known for his environmentalist and humanist outlook, Fathy's influence extends beyond his time. The BME's Department of Architecture has delved into Fathy's work since 2015, conducting extensive field surveys in Egypt to document, critically analyze, and publish his complete oeuvre. The exhibition presents a visual journey through Fathy's legacy, combining archival collections and contemporary perspectives on Egypt.

Gurna Mosque - Hassan Fathy

The third creator of this exhibition is Mohamed Raslan, whose doctoral work explores the intersection of generative AI and the future of mass housing projects, specifically addressing the housing crisis in the Global South, with a focus on Egypt. This forward-looking project offers insights into the potential of technology in shaping sustainable housing solutions. Growing up in Alexandria, Egypt. Mohamed witnessed the historical event of the inauguration of the Alexandria Bibliotheca, the largest library in Africa and the Middle East at that time. He spent the majority of his teenage period reading and absorbing lifetime experiences and different cultures in the library.

The Unbelievable Challenge - The Meltic Globe - Mohamed Raslan

Attending several workshops, events, and conferences in the library, I made most of my lifetime friends. Our generation was considered the most ambitious, and most of us after graduation pursued further education from universities all over the world. The impact of the library on us, made me realize how architecture can change a whole community or rather a huge city. Since then, I have taken human-centric design as my approach to design. Currently, I am doing my doctoral studies at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and I have still two years to go.” - Mohammed Raslan.

Educational Experiment in African Design:

The exhibition culminates in a large-scale educational experiment, weaving together research projects and design courses. The vertical studio, a third-year endeavour in 2021 and 2022, tackles the challenge of self-sufficient food production in African locations. The showcase includes student projects from TDK conferences (2017-2022), MSc courses, and tender works, involving nearly 400 students over the years.

In conclusion, MORE TAKE ON AFRICA invites international students in Hungary to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of African architecture, uncovering stories of innovation, cultural integration, and sustainable design. Explore the confluence of tradition and modernity, as envisioned by visionary architects by March 10  at FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture!


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