Africa has three of the fastest growing cities in the world ( Lagos, Kinshasa and Luanda) but while rapid urbanisation is occuring in our cities it is often a mixture of the public and the private, the formal and the informal as well as the sacred and the profane.
Meanwhile in many European cities, particularly in Spain, there have been lots of citizen self-organisation aimed at creating and revitalising common urban spaces.
Taking its name from the West African name given to objects used as charms, Grigri Pixel was started as a way of getting creatives from both continents to use skills to build "grigris" that act as urban interventions in different cities.
The team aims to achieve this through a series of workshops and residencies that take place in cities like Madrid, Lome in Togo and Dakar in Senegal. The project recently selected in the culture category for the FAD design prize which forms part of the ADI-FAD culture prize. The Industrial Design for Development of Decorative Arts Association (ADI-FAD) is a nonprofit cultural organisation whose main objective is the dissemination and promotion of industrial design in social, cultural, institutional and business fields in Spain.
Last year, the team met in Madrid to construct open urban furniture designed and built by the different collaborators for local residents. African participants included Aderemi Adegbite (from Nigeria), Essome Ebone Ismael (from Cameroon), Afate Gnikou Kodjo (from Togo) and Mané Toure Ndèye (from Senegal).
It is to Ndèye's home city of Dakar in Senegal where the Grigri Pixel team will be meeting again as part of the Dakar Biennale to explore the project further. These are just some of the images from the Grigri Pixel which happened in Madrid last year: