Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow

Design Histories between Africa and Europe – funded by the TURN Fund

Flow of Forms

Those who are familiar with artistic production and the cultural debates of Africa and its diaspora are sure to have heard about the innovative fashion and product design scenes on the continent as well. At international design fairs, in exhibitions and in the media, everyone is talking about “African design” – a style that combines established ideas of design with everyday demands and fast-paced technological development, and interconnects them across the globe. But what dynamics are at work behind this new catchphrase? Have depictions of “African design” accurately described this trend so far?

More photos

In collaboration with the Architecture Museum of the TU Munich, the Museum “Fünf Kontinente”, and the Kunstraum München, the Institute for Art History at the LMU Munich organised the exhibition project “Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow” to address these questions and offer a new perspective on design history. In cooperation with the Berlin-based model project Cucula - Refugees Company for Crafts and Design, Cheick Diallo/Diallo Design and the Centre La Médina Art & Culture in Mali, stationary interventions in Munich presented a transcultural, historically-interconnected perspective which starkly contrasted typical survey shows on African design.

The project highlighted five thematic areas at four venues in Munich. These emphasised the interactions, as well as the processes of exchange and translation, in which design serves a mediating function: Material Morphosis (Stoff-Wechsel), Forms of Modernity, Forms of Participation/Cooperation, Transform(N)ation and Speculative Forms. The project attempted to overcome Eurocentric dichotomies, e.g. traditional and modern, hand-crafted and industrial, formal and informal, and replaced our conventional one-sided view of design history with a multitude of global design histories.

Artistic directors: Kerstin Pinther (DE), Alexandra Weigand (DE). In collaboration with Art History students at the LMU Munich

With: David Adjaye (GB), Kossi Aguessy (TG/BR), Karo Akpokiere (NG), Kader Attia (FR), Nora al-Badri (DE) & Jan Nikolai Nelles (DE), Black Coffee (ZA), Paolo Cascone (IT), Cladlight (KE), Sonya Clark (US), Matali Crasset (FR) & Bulawayo Home Industries (ZW), Cucula (DE), Cheick Diallo (ML), Dokter and Misses (ZA), Formafantasma (IT), Front Design & the Siyazama Project (ZA), Fundi Bots (UG), Eric van Hove (BE), Yinka Ilori (NG/GB), Jean Katambayi Mukendi (CD), Wanuri Kahiu (KE), Markus Kayser (DE), Lumkani (ZA), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (SL), Haldane Martin (ZA), Michael MacGarry (ZA), Ernst May (DE), Emo de Medeiros (BJ/FR), Vincent Michéa (CM/FR), Laduma Ngxokolo (ZA), Palash Singh for STEP/The New Basket Workshop (ZW), Simone Post (NL), Rethaka (ZA), Studio Sikoki (NG), Kër Thiossane (SN), Fatimah Tuggar (NG), Obiora Udechukwu (NG), Marjorie Wallace for Mutapo Pottery (ZA), Jules Wokam (CM)

TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 19 August, 2018 to 20 April, 2018: Exhibition

    Museum für Völkerkunde, Hamburg

  • 3 February, 2017 : Stationary Interventions/Exhibition

    Architekturmuseum TU München; Museum Fünf Kontinente; Galerie Wimmer; Kunstraum München, München


Institut für Kunstgeschichte

Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München

Zentnerstr. 31

80978 München

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