One and only David Adjaye, amazing architect of our time…
We’ve had an amazing opportunity to visit the NYC office of Adjaye Associates and to meet up with its director David Adjaye yesterday.
David is one of the most successful architects and he’s worked on multiple projects around the world including the most recent one – the National Museum of the African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
Lately he and his firm are doing more and more project in the African continent. According to Vogue interview, “[h]e’s done a beachfront house for former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Ghana, and the Alara Concept Store in Lagos, Nigeria. He’s currently working on a slavery museum in Cape Coast, Ghana; a state-of-the-art children’s cancer hospital and teaching center in Kigali, Rwanda, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa; a World Bank headquarters in Dakar; and a high-rise apartment building in a former “no-go zone” of Johannesburg.”
David is a Ghanian-British who was born in Tanzania, but in terms of the scope of his work and his mind, he is truly global. That’s why we look up to him.
We had a great conversation, got lots of advice, and will be in the loop for his upcoming projects…
Do you know Ogojiii? It is a Pan-African magazine that shares stories about African innovation in design, enterprise, and current affairs and newly launched in South Africa and Kenya last year.
When I found out about this magazine, I was hyped. This is what I’m talking about. It’s basically Monocle or Wired of Africa. The magazine itself is cool and aesthetically well-thought, but the contents are also exciting and fresh that give you new discoveries here and there. And it is inherently global.
The magazine launched at the World Economic Forum Africa in Cape Town in 2015, and it was the idea proposed by an accomplished Danish entrepreneur / designer Jens Martin Skibsted and invested by African investors according to Bizcommunity. I also found that Bestseller Foundation, the private philosophic organization established by the family behind the Bestseller (a Danish fashion brand company that owns brands like Vero Moda or Only), bought 25% (and the investment of $120K) of Ogojiii’s stake in November 2015. While it started as a Danish idea, the vision, contents, teams are truly African and it aims to bring together people who look for creative design approach in the African context.
What’s really important here is that “design” is obviously not just about aesthetics and objects. Design thinking offers you new perspectives, ideas, and solutions and the world is starting to see that design thinking in the African context gives us a lot of cutting-edge insights for all of us, global dwellers, to live a better life both spiritually and practically.
Can’t wait to make our contributions to Ogojiii and beyond to further promote the dialogues around African design.
この雑誌は、昨年、ケープタウンで開催された世界経済会議のアフリカミーティングでロンチとなったもので、Bizcommunityによると、最初のアイディアはデンマークの著名な起業家兼デザイナーのJens Martin Skibstedが提唱したものですが、アフリカの投資家によって実現化されてものだそうです。少し調べると、Bestseller社（Vero ModaやOnlyなどのブランドを保有するデンマークのファッション会社）のファミリー財団であるBestseller Foundataionが、2015年11月に25%である$120Kを出資しているようです。デンマーク人のアイディアとはいえ、ビジョン、中身、チームはアフリカであり、アフリカの文脈におけるクリエイティブデザインのアプローチに関心がある人々の場を目指しているようです。
Pure bliss! An amazing lady who can rock the world!
Table For Two (TFT) is a non-profit organization that simultaneously addresses malnutrition developing countries by offering school meals and obesity in developed countries by offering healthy meals. Every time someone purchases TFT supervised healthy meal a portion of the profit is contributed to serve a school meal for kids.
TFT was an idea initiated at the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Conference in 2006 in Tronto and has been expanded since then accelerated by the team led by Masa Kogure. I personally know many people who have contributed to the expansion of the TFT including Mr. Kogure while I also got involved briefly back then around 2008, and I have always been thinking about creating a model applying key aspects of the TFT model. There are three key aspects that I think that the TFT model is uniquely brilliant.
1. Framing the global challenge in a way that everyone can easily relate to.
Buy one give one model itself is not a unique model now with some American companies like TOM’s shoes or Warby Parker being quite successful. What I like about the model is that TFT addresses issues both in the developed and developing economies. While we are not a non-profit organization that directly addresses social issues, we are offering solutions to the problem where creative talents in the developing economies (like South Africa or Kenya) and craftsmen in industrialized economies (like Japan) can combine each of their strength to offer new innovative products for the global audience. Emerging creative talents in the developing economies are lacking infrastructures to realize their creativity into tangible items while craftsmen in industrialized economies have little capability hire young people to modernize their crafts for the modern and global audience. Thus, the marriage of two can work very well. 2. Branding and marketing communication that create cool and fun vibes.
Another brilliance is branding. The success may be due to one brilliant PR manager who I have personally known to learn her work; however, I also believe that their branding and marketing communication strategies are really embedded in their operational strategy. They’ve not only been working together with the firm like Dentsu, but they have also been successfully engaging with mass media and celebrities to create fun and exciting movement that everyone wants to join. This was especially quite innovative at the time where NPO activities were considered rather as obligations or responsibilities: something that people need to do.
For us, branding is extremely important, especially because the word “Africa” or “African” can evoke certain negative to some people. We do not want “support” instead, we want “LOVE.” We must make people fall in love with our brand. We must make people fall in love with (our) African design. We must make people fall in love with Africa’s diverse culture and stories through our brand. 3. Aiming to expand globally from the get-go by partnering with international organizations and large corporations.
Last but now least, what I love about the TFT model is that their scope has always been global. They were born global. They were not just thinking about advocating people in Japan. The name of the organization has been TFT “International” from the get-go, and I have learned that this name was reflective of TFT management’s aspiration to go global. They’ve also leveraged platforms like the World Economic Forum while aggressively involving national governments and large companies like Toyota. And they now operate in 20+ countries with various local networks of supporters while their head office members remain relatively small.
And we aspire to do the same. That’s why I take part in business competitions across the countries and get buy-in from multiple governments including Japan and South Africa. That’s why we participate in TICAD in Nairobi while presenting our work at the cultural embassy in Amsterdam.
And that’s why we are really excited about this very platform to communicate why we do what we do! (And hope you have good questions and learnings!!!!)
Table For Two（TFT）、ご存知の方も多いと思います。TFTは途上国の栄養不足を給食によって、先進国の肥満の問題を低カロリーな食事によって、同時に解決しようと活動している非営利団体です。TFT監修の健康な食事を購入することで、その利益の一部を1食分の子供の給食に回すというモデルがコアになっている活動です。