Luciole Design

LABORATORY

Let’s get African

Park concept featured local Ethiopian activities and motifs

There was a bit of Euro-colonial stuff to reflect Addis Ababa’s history, but the soul of the park was rooted in its location.

Africa should look African, right?

Monumental art, interlocking fields, strolling paths, colorful plants and a community gathering area might have made this park happen. Ethiopian motifs and architectural cues let people know they were indeed in Africa, not Orange County.

Not.

I suppose "Fail" was written all over this one. The client wanted multiple concepts from multiple designers. The people who hired us didn't want to pay for a survey, nor did they want to fly us to Addis to do thorough site analysis. The ran around the site with a cell phone and sent the pictures. "that's your survey," they said. The other teams hired professional surveyors to locate each tree, the topography, everything. We had to guess.

Needless to say, the level of detail wasn't up to the client's standards.

Nonetheless, I thought we put together some interesting concepts, drawing from local Ethiopian structures and vernacular, with a bit of Italian cross-fertilization to indicate that period of Ethiopia's history.

Maybe they just wanted a soccer field, not an urban center for gatherings, festivals and events. Maybe their goal was just another piece of Orange County, cloned halfway around the world. It seems like this concept was perhaps "too African" for them, despite it being in... Africa!