Last night in London, the design salon AlterFutures orgainsed a talk at Machines Room, on the last day of Ralph Borland’s exhibition ‘African Robots‘. The talk included both Ralph, and V&A Senior Research Fellow Cher Potter. Cher presented her new two year project on design futures in Sub-Saharan Africa, starting next month and running until 2017.
On Cher’s project:
This project brings together design theorists, technological innovators and museum professionals from six different centres – Dakar, Accra, Nairobi, Cape Town, London and Oxford – for a series of talks and exhibitions taking place in Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and London. The aim is to investigate how a ‘digital revolution’ combined with unprecedented city and population growth on the African continent is resulting in new typologies of design.
On Ralph’s exhibition:
African Robots is a project to create interactive electronic street art. ‘Street art’ in this instance means art sold by people on the street, in South Africa and Zimbabwe – usually forms of handicraft using inexpensive materials like fencing and electrical wire, beads and waste wood, plastic and metal. The project focuses particularly on wire work, where artists make three dimensional forms from wire, using a cheap material to create complex results. Basic electronic components can with the necessary know-how also be used as cheap material for creating interactive sculptures.