Monday, September 25, 2017

NIGERIAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS, DESIGN AND THE REST OF US

A private school in Nigeria
“I no blame dem”, I muttered under my breath in annoyance. “Wetin concern me with dem before?" I asked no one in particular as I gunned the engine of the car and zoomed off to my next destination. I was at my wits end. “Who be the ‘dem" you ask?  Well, ‘dem’ happened to be some private elementary schools visited in the course of my search for a suitable school for my ward, a search I had grossly underestimated. Going by their signboards, there is an ‘international’ private school in every neighbourhood; in fact my residence is situated adjacent to one.

Some school owners take the term, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) too literally, “What’s the big deal in setting up a school?” they ask. “It should be as simple as ABC since it is for children!” Their countless hours spent browsing design websites such as Pinterest and Houzz must account for something! Next line of action is to lease a property (bungalow or duplex depending on the availability of funds) splurge money on some fancy play sets, splash bright colours on the wall, commission an artisan to fabricate the partitions for the spaces, sprinkle a hearty dose of children themed wall decals, and viola, the building is ready. "Who needs a design professional? Afterall na two brains dem get?!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS - MY 'EUREKA' STORY!


Once again, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”! I simply cannot get enough of the dry harmattan air, the early morning and evening haze, the bustling energy seemingly at boiling point across the major markets and shopping malls as buyers and sellers rush to make last minute transactions.  Then there is the awesome food. Speaking of which, would any Christmas/ New Year’s Day menu be complete without the wonderful staple of jollof rice? Our mum certainly took no prisoners with her Yuletide jollof rice. Hers was simply the best, no contest! Add her equally delicious teeth sinking - lip smacking- finger licking fried fresh chicken, and the world to a young me then could not have been more perfect! So good was her jollof rice that you would find me happily scrapping away and eating the burnt ‘bottom pot’ portion of the rice even after a couple of days as though my life depended on it!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

DONALD TRUMP AND WETIN NAIJA ARCHITECTS DEY DO SEF?!


1. President - elect Donald Trump and his opponent, Hilary Clinton during the first Presidential Debate
The highly anticipated election for the 45th President of the United States of America has finally been dispensed with. Phew! We no see or hear word that period! Preceded by a contentious, acrimonious and no holds barred contest, the emergence of Donald Trump as the President- elect over the preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton sent shock waves across the world. In Nigeria, we went to sleep with Hillary in an early lead but woke up on the 9th of November 2016 with the unlikely and underrated Donald Trump getting the required number of Electoral College votes to win. What a red letter day!!
 
 
One of the many campaign policies of President-elect Trump was the commitment of at least $ 500 billion to infrastructural spending over a five year period. The spending is required to fix America’s ageing and decaying infrastructure – airports, schools, hospitals, bridges, and train stations. From all indications, American architects will be very busy!  It was against the backdrop of this campaign policy that the executives of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the umbrella body for registered architects in the United States, pledged its commitment to working with President-elect Trump in the strengthening of the nation’s ageing and decaying public infrastructure. The outrage and backlash from the architectural community was fierce and immediate forcing the AIA executives
to publicly apologize for what it termed “a hasty and tone deaf post – election message”.

HOW TO MAKE MILLIONS FROM YOUR UNMADE BED!!


'My Bed'
Hold it! Stop I said!! You may want to think twice before you make that bed of yours or tidy up your room! Yes you heard right. That unmade bed and untidy room can make you famous and make you very rich, and I am talking in millions of foreign currency here.  

You think I’m joking? Okay let's confirm from Tracey Emin, the British artist whose messy (dirty)bed/room installation sold for a record £ 2.5 million in 2015. The installation is currently on loan for public viewing for the next decade at the Tate Modern Museum, London.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BRT BUSES, AKARA, BRAZILIAN HAIR AND RIO 2016!!!

Team Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Photocredit: Getty Images
Firstly, belatedly though, let me join the teeming number of proud Nigerians in saluting our contingent to the Rio 2016 Paralympics where Team Nigeria with her stellar performance shone like a million stars with a formidable medal haul comprising of twelve medals.

Asides the 2016 Olympics and of course the ubiquitous Brazilian weaves (which we cannot get enough of); Brazil occupies a key position in West African history for both good and bad reasons. Brazil accounted for roughly forty percent of the African slaves brought to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade with most of them processed at Bahia before being sent off to plantations across the country. Centuries after the slave trade, the Yoruba influence is still heavily felt in Bahia where their dialect is a blend of Portuguese and Yoruba. Deities such as Orunmila, Obatala, Ogun, Sango, Obatala, etcetera are also worshipped. Babalawos nko? Dem dey there too!! Even local delicacies are well represented, take for instance the utterly scrumptious fried bean cakes called ‘akara’ here, in Bahia, ask for acaraje instead!  

Saturday, October 08, 2016

WORLD ARCHITECTURE DAY 2016

Photocredit: www.uia.archi


The 3rd of October, 2016 was World Architecture Day. Every first Monday in October has been set aside annually to celebrate architecture and its practitioners. World Architecture Day which also coincides with the World Habitat Day of the United Nations was created in 1985 by the International Union of Architects (UIA), a global federation of national associations of architects that represents over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries and territories.

Friday, September 09, 2016

WHEN ARCHITECTS GATHERED IN BENIN CITY


On Thursday 4th August 2016, the ancient city of Benin, Edo State  hosted the second edition of the Nigerian Institute of Architects Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture series which was initiated by Immediate Past National President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (2013 – 2015), Arc. Waheed Niyi Brimmoh is to enable the generality of national Architects benefit from the wealth of experience from Past Presidents.

In 2015, the maiden edition of the series held in Abuja with Chief Dr Alex Ekwueme, 2nd President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (1967 – 1968), Past President of ARCON and first civilian Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the lecturer. Befittingly his lecture topic was “Architecture: Management & Participation of Architects In Nigeria’s Political Class”.