Beyond Entropy Africa: A new kind of common ground in Luanda

The Angola-based architecture group Beyond Entropy Africa brings radical change to an urban sprawl with a single plant.

Stefano Rabolli Pansera and Paula Nascimento of Beyond Entropy Africa approach urban problems with refreshing solutions based on their research in Luanda, Angola. While some might see a dysfunctional city plan, they see opportunity for change. Rooted in Beyond Entropy’s mantra, “changing nothing so that everything is different,” the agency sticks to a methodology that involves in-depth research and context-driven proposals.

In this video interview, Beyond Entropy Africa’s co-directors offer insight into their work using their proposed intervention into the urban sprawl of the suburb of Cazenga in Luanda. Cazenga is an informal settlement made up of single-storey, multi-use buildings whose density is higher than Manhattan.

Pansera and Nascimento came up with the idea of planting Arundo Donax, a type of giant cane, to create urban gardens where the plant could act as a low-cost sewerage system and a biomass supply. The plant absorbs water rapidly and functions as a source of renewable energy. This discovery meant that there was no need for large construction or planning.

Beyond Entropy Africa presented its work along with four other African creative collectives in the Africa Is Now exhibition at Design Indaba Expo 2015.

Locating themselves at the intersection of art, architecture and geo-politics, the forward-thinking Beyond Entropy has presented its solutions to territorial situations at international platforms such as the Venice Biennale.