London Afropolitan

LONDON AFROPOLITAN is one of five 'dialogues' convened as part of the research and knowledge exchange initiative entitled “Afropolitan Architecture: Imagining the African Urban Future by Design”.

The Africa Centre is delighted to support this event as a project partner. The first three dialogues were hosted by the British Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennale 2023. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE), London Metropolitan University, and Dalberg Advisers who have made the project possible with support in kind, alongside start-up funding from London Metropolitan University's Rescaling Fund (2023-24).

The following speakers confirmed for this event, with additional panel members to be announced soon.

  • Mokena Makeka: Principal of Dalberg Advisors and incoming Special Advisor to the Vice President of the Cooper Union College for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York. He is an accomplished architect, artist, creative, curator, global leader, scholar, speaker, and urbanist. Current and recent roles include Vice President of the South African Institute of Architects, Azrieli Visiting Critic at Carleton University School of Architecture and Urbanism (2020), Board member of the South African Green Building Council, and Cape Town Central City Improvement district. He is an alumnus of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader programme, a member of the WCS Young Leaders in Urbanism, and an Aspen Fellow in leadership 2020. He is at the forefront of thinking about contemporary inclusive cities in Africa with a focus on ecological and socio-economic justice.
  • Muyiwa Oki: President of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA, from September 2023). He is an architect at Mace Group, a global consultancy and construction firm headquartered in London. Throughout his career, he has worked on large-scale infrastructure projects, such as HS2 Euston and the North London heat and power project. Whilst at Grimshaw Architects, he was founder and Chair of the Multi-Ethnic Group and Allies network and drove cultural change for colleagues globally. Muyiwa is an external speaker and mentor for aspiring architects in programmes to encourage greater social mobility within the industry.
  • Meneesha Kellay: Member the curatorial team for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2023. She is Contemporary Programme curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she is part of the V&A Anti-Racism Taskforce. Past roles include Public Programmes Curator at the RIBA, Open House London 2014 project leader, and Assistant Director of AA Night School at the Architectural Association. She has conducted independent projects with the Museum of Architecture, London College of Fashion, and the Baltic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2016. Honorary roles include the RIBA Architects for Change Advisory Board, the 2019 London Festival of Architecture Curation Panel, and membership of the Steering Committee for Design Can
  • Nana Biamah-Ofosu: Architect, educator, researcher, writer. She is the director of London based YAA Projects, a London based architecture, design and research practice dedicated to exploring culture, material and history through making, speaking and writing architecture. Alongside practice, Nana teaches at the Architectural Association and Kingston School of Art. Her interests include questions on diaspora, identity, geography, communality and domesticity particularly, how these subjects encounter, align and manifest through architecture and space.
  • The conversation will be chaired by Prof Matthew Barac, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture, London Metropolitan University, where he leads the PhD programme at the School of Art, Architecture and Design. He was the School Research Leader 2018-21, and chaired the Unit of Assessment (UoA) panel 32: "Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice" for the University's submission to REF 2021: Research Excellence Framework. He qualified as a UK-registered architect in 1992 following the completion of his studies at the University of Cambridge and went to practise professionally in the UK, USA and South Africa. His doctoral research, which investigated the role of design at the interface between formal and informal urban orders with a focus on African cities, won plaudits including the RIBA President's Award for Research (best PhD category, 2007) and the International Bauhaus Award (2004).

Please check our Afropolitan Architecture project page for more information.

Modern urban future building design



Tuesday, 19 September 2023 at 5.30pm 

Location The Africa Centre, 66 Great Suffolk Street London SE1 0BL
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