An international workshop of design, organized by the Biennale of Contemporary African Art with the support of the European Union, was held in Dakar from Wednesday, January 18th, 2006 to Tuesday, January 31st, 2006.
The workshop gathered thirteen designers of six nationalities (Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast; Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and France) who worked for two weeks in the workshops of Senegalese artisans in Dakar and it’s surrounding suburbs, as well as in the workshops and businesses of the Industrial district of the capital.
The results of this workshop will be exhibited during the African Design Salon of the 7th Biennale of Contemporary African Art (Dak’Art 2006, May 5th - June 5th). In addition to individual projects, a collective project will be realized.
The designers who participated in the workshop were selected by a committee of experts and by curators selected by President Yacouba Konaté, the general curator of exhibitions for Dak’Art 2006.
One of the objectives of this workshop is to encourage the participation of African designers in the search for a new aesthetic applicable to functional, mass-producible products: in one word, to develop the economic dimension of contemporary art.
In the latter half of the year 2005 a call for projects was released by the Secretary General of the Biennale in order to allow the participation of the maximum number of African artists in the competition. On Thursday, December 29th, 2006, out of a total of 27 applicants, the selected candidates were known. Amongst the selection criteria was originality, utility, reproducibility, aesthetics and the cost of the presented project.
In initiating this workshop, the Secretary General of the Biennale wishes to enliven and develop African design as a result of an African initiative. The global objective is to consolidate the creative potential of the designers of the continent through moments of reflection and the sharing of experiences, to develop a workshop of research and creation, to organize meetings with businesses, and to present new suggestions for international criticism. Let’s recall that the first Design Salon was organized in 1996.
The designers who participated in the workshop are :
Christian Djomagni (Cameroon), Alassane Drabo (Burkina Faso), César Dogbo, Vincent Niamien et Valérie Oka (Ivory Coast), Madeleine Bomboté et Cheikh Diallo (Mali), Khalifa Ababacar Dieng, Astou Diop, Auro Nalla Ndiaye, Mamadou Ndoye Guèye et Babacar Mbodj Niang (Senegal), Dominique Petot (France).
Photos : Pape Seydi
Top : The camerooneese designer Christian Djomagni in his studio in the Industrial district of Dakar
Center: the malian designer Cheikh Diallo at work with students of the National School of Art of Dakar.