Ghana has launched its first Architecture and Design festival. The nationwide series of events which takes place in November, will feature over 30 events, exhibitions, workshops, open houses, tours, installations and panel discussions.
The highlight of the festival is a two-day design and architectural showcase at The Octagon on the 22nd and 23rd of November in Accra. Designed to give attendees an experiential and interactive perspective of architecture and design in Ghana, the showcase will bring together over 100 of Ghana’s best architects, architectural firms, interior designers and decorators for a magnificent showcase to climax the festival.
Earlier this year, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) named Ghana one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With growth comes infrastructure, so it is no surprise that Ghana’s real estate, architectural and design landscape has seen tremendous growth accompanying the announcement.
However, the country still battles with a housing deficit of two million housing units, which, according to the Minister for Works and Housing - Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, would take 10 years to bridge.
In light of this, the theme for the festival this year is ‘Living Spaces’ and seeks to highlight projects, concepts and alternative building materials by Ghanaian students and established architects toward a solution to affordable housing.
‘It is our hope that through the festival, we will unearth designs, concepts and substitutes for the cement block and mortar structures which are expensive and unfriendly to our environment. We intend to contribute to a reduction in the deficit by showcasing housing solutions that can be developed and implemented immediately while being aesthetic, functional and affordable for the average Ghanaian’, explained Emelia Ainooson, the Managing Director of Brandason, organizers of the festival.
The festival, which is also an educational initiative, will host a workshop in conjunction with She Grows It (SGI), to teach participants about leveraging their existing properties to generate additional funding for entrepreneurial endeavors. Participants will also benefit from a plethora of other workshops and informative panel discussions to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for the building arts and encourage budding young talent in the industry to aspire to greater heights in a bid to develop the nation and improve the standards of living through affordable living alternatives and a healthier, more beautiful country.