N’Goné Fall (born 1967) is a Senegalese curator, editor, cultural consultant and academic. She has been appointed General Commissioner of “Season Africa 2020”, a French initiative to view the world from an African perspective. From 1994 to 2001, she edited Revue Noire, an African contemporary art magazine. She has served as a consultant to governments on cultural policies and has curated cultural exhibitions in Africa, Europe and the United States.
Born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1967, N’Goné Fall studied architecture under Paul Virillo (1932–2013) at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, graduating when she was 26. She did not however pursue a career in architecture as in 1992 she met the art critic Jean-Loup Pivin (born 1951) who persuaded her to join his African-oriented Revue Noire. She became its editorial director from 1994 to 2001, covering African artists on the international scene. In 2001, together with Pivin she published Anthologie de l’art africain du XX siècle, subsequently translated into English as An anthology of African art: the twentieth century.
As an independent curator and educator, she was assistant professor for the Cultural Industries Master programme at the Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt (2007–2011). More recently she has lectured at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in South Africa (2017) and at the Abdou Moumouni University in the Niger (2018). Among the exhibitions she has curated are the Bamako Photography Encounters (2001) and the Dakar Contemporary Art Biennial (2002). In 2016, she participated in the Danish project “When things fall apart” at the Trapholt Museum in Kolding.
A curator and writer based in Paris, Kathryn Weir is currently the artistic director of the Madre museum of contemporary art Donnaregina in Naples. Her practice engages with critical thinking on technology, race, class, gender and political ecology in the context of exhibition making. Previously director of multidisciplinary programs at the Centre Pompidou, she created ‘Cosmopolis’ there in 2015 as a platform for research-based, socially engaged and collaborative art practices. Conceived to construct bridges between new forms of creative experimentation and critical vocabularies across reconfigured histories and geographies, the platform encompasses activities ranging from residencies to exhibitions and programs. She also created the annual festival ‘MOVE: performance, dance, moving image’ at the Centre Pompidou in 2017. From 2006 until 2014, she was director of the Australian Cinémathèque and chief curator of international art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane and was one of the curators of the 5th, 6th and 7th Asia Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art. Weir’s other curatorial projects include ‘Collective Body’ (at Dhaka Art Summit 2020), ‘Sublime, Passages to the Infinite’ (2014-2015), ‘21st Century: Art in the first decade’ (2010-2011), ‘Small Acts’ (2009), ‘The Leisure Class’ (2007-2008), ‘Hong Kong, Shanghai: Cinema Cities’ (2007), ‘Kiss of the Beast’ (2005-2006) and ‘The Nature Machine: Contemporary Art, Nature and Technology’ (2004-2005). Her publications include Modern Ruin (QAGOMA, 2008), The View From Elsewhere (Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2009), Sculpture is Everything (QAGOMA, 2012), and Gorilla (with Ted Gott, Reaktion Books, 2013). Other writings address the works of contemporary artists including Cabello/Carceller, Inci Eviner, Shilpa Gupta, Clarisse Hahn, Romuald Hazoumè, Ho Tzu Nyen, Runa Islam, MadeIn, Aernout Mik and Lee Mingwei.
Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, designer and development researcher whose works are internationally recognised for originality and innovation. He is the founder and principal of NLÉ – an architecture, design and urbanism practice founded in 2010, for innovating cities and communities. Adeyemi’s notable works include ‘Makoko Floating School’, a groundbreaking, prototype floating structure once located in the lagoon heart of Lagos, Nigeria. Makoko Floating School has since evolved into ‘Makoko Floating System (MFSTM)’ – a simple, prefabricated, building solution for developments on water – now deployed in 5 countries across 3 continents. This acclaimed project is part of NLÉ’s extensive body of work – the ‘African Water Cities’ – which explores the intersections of rapid urbanisation and climate change. In 2016 NLÉ was awarded the Silver Lion Prize for its second iteration of Makoko Floating School (MFS II – Waterfront Atlas) at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Other NLÉ projects include A Prelude to The Shed in New York, USA, the Black Rhino Academy in Karatu, Tanzania and the Serpentine Summer House at the Royal Kensington Gardens in London, UK.
Before founding NLÉ, Adeyemi worked closely with Rem Koolhaas for about 9 years at the world renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where he led the design and development of significant projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange tower in China, the Qatar National Library and Qatar Foundation Headquarters in Doha, Samsung Museum of Art and the Prada Transformer in Seoul.
Alongside his professional practice with multiple prestigious awards, Adeyemi is an international speaker and thought leader. He is one of UNDP’s African Influencers for Development (AI4D) Supergroup. He served as juror and nominator for distinguishing many industry talents including the RIBA international Prize, the AIA awards, Venice Biennale jury, and the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program. Adeyemi holds an honorary doctorate degree in Architecture from Hasselt University, Belgium, and a certificate in Real Estate Economics and Finance from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is an Adjunct Visiting Professor at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and has held several academic positions including the 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York, a visiting critic at Cornell University and Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University – where he leads academic research in architecture and urban solutions that are closer to societal, environmental and economic needs.
Kunlé Adeyemi has held several academic positions in many reputable institutions. He was a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University School of Architecture in 2019 and 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously he was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, 2015 Gensler Visiting Critic and 2014 Baird Distinguished Visiting Critic of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, teaching and researching the program ‘Water & The City’. In 2011 to 2012, he was the Callison Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of the University of Washington, teaching and researching ‘The Modern City in the Age of Globalization’ in Chandigarh – India’s first planned modern city. His main area of academic interest is in developing cities of the global south. He has pursued and developed this issue via a number of research papers and study opportunities. They include a post-professional degree from Princeton University in the US, where with Peter Eisenman he investigated rapid urbanization and the role of market economies in developing cities of the global South, focusing on Lagos.
His hypothesis ‘Urban Crawl’ published in the Log Journal, is a critical exposé on architecture and urbanism in emerging megacities of the global south, which also unravels the complex urban conditions and operative mechanisms of such cities. His knowledge and opinions in this area are much sought after. Consequently, he has acted as a speaker and visiting critic at prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim New York, Harvard University, MIT, the Cooper Union, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Architectural Association in London, ETH in Zurich, Chandigarh College of Architecture in India and Delft Technical University in the Netherlands.
All of Kunlé Adeyemi’s experience, knowledge and background underpin his new architectural, creative design, and urbanism practice for Africa, developing regions and complex urban/rural environments globally. The overarching aim of the practice is to bridge critical gaps in infrastructure and urban development by creating coherent networks and global exchanges that work for people. The scope of the practice is not limited to architecture. He has also designed furniture, among many other things, and explores all social and cultural possibilities that contribute to urbanism.
Adeyemi was one of 5 members of the International Advisory Council for the World Design Capital 2014 being hosted by Cape Town, South Africa. This International design event is an opportunity to identify, nurture and promote projects that offer tangible evidence of how design can improve lives, within the uniquely South African and African context. In 2010, Adeyemi was the creative director for Lagos Photo – Nigeria’s first contemporary public photography exhibition with the African Artist’s Foundation. Lagos Photo is an urban intervention aimed to inspire and enlighten people about Lagos and other African cities, through photography in public spaces. His article ‘The Architecture of Photography’ was published in the Lagos Photo 2010 catalogue. Fundamental to his vision for developing cities is the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge & Master Plan in Lagos state – with OMA for Missing Link Motorway Development Company. A project, which has the potential to positively transform daily life for millions of people in one of the world’s most populous and challenging cities.
“Whether a chair for charity in South Africa, a revolutionary rotating art space for Prada in Seoul or the visionary plan to eliminate traffic paralysis in Lagos with the 4th Mainland Bridge, in each project the essential needs of performance, value and identity – critical for success – are fundamentally the same for me. Although quantitatively different from place to place, the responsibility of achieving these needs at maximum, with minimum means, remains the same globally. I am constantly inspired by solutions we discover in everyday life in the world’s developing cities” — Kunlé Adeyemi, 2010