Futuristic Africa

The past, present and future of African design is explored in the "Afrofuture" exhibition held during the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair.

Exploring the past, present and future of design, architecture, art, music and politics across the African continent, the Afrofuture exhibition highlights an exciting advance in African design and how it’s radically shaping new notions of thinking.

The Afrofuture exhibition, curated by London-based writer and critic Beatrice Galilee, showcases work from savvy innovators emerging within Africa who are rebranding urban spaces and design in Africa. Moving away from visual clichés and forging experimental collaborations with technologists, writers, musicians, photographers, illustrators, architects and rural commentators, the exhibition reveals how the continent of Africa is journeying towards new frontiers.

Held over four days in the la Rinascente, a department store in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, Afrofuture invites visitors to experience African design first-hand and gain insight into the thoughts of African creatives and makers via robotic mashups in African sci-fi bio-design and the spirit of pop culture in Africa.

The outside windows of la Rinascente display three-dimensional panels inspired by the African “pulp-fiction” magazine Jungle Jim and designed by London-based illustrator Emily Forgot, while the interior reveals an exhibition including Ghanaian “fantasy coffins” and a photo-documentary series looking at Zambia’s unsuccessful attempt to launch a space programme in the 1960s.

Talks, debates and workshops centred on a forward-thinking and futuristic portrayal of Africa play a pivotal role in the exhibition and will feature speakers from around the world working in the fields of technology, design, art and architecture.

Design Indaba Expo manager Kelly Berman will be speaking alongside seven other prominent speakers today (10 April 2013) on developmental aspects in South African design.

Afrofuture will take place during Milan Furniture Fair until 14 April 2013.