• Demas Nwoko: Complete Works, Demystifying African Tropical Architecture
    Joseph Litchfield Conteh

Demas Nwoko, outside-view of the Dominican Chapel, 2018, Ibadan, Nigeria. Photo: Diseye Tantua.

The aim of this project is to research and document—visually, and in written text—the work of 82-year-old Demas Nwoko. The research explores Nwoko's design values, his thoughts on architecture in the tropics, and the role of the postcolonial, indigenous architect—both in Africa and the world. African modernist architecture has almost exclusively been documented by westerners. What are the thoughts of post-independence African architects on their own identities, and the relevance of those identities to the wider architecture and design community? Some answers will emerge from Nwoko's work and others will be part of an inter-generational dialogue between two architects of west African descent. One, a master-builder, architect, artist, theatre designer, and teacher whose illustrious career spans 50 years. The other, Joseph Litchfield Conteh, an architect from the African diaspora, eight years into his career, who will assist Nwoko in producing his first-ever monograph.

Joseph Litchfield Conteh, is a Sierra Leone-born architect associated with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He lives in London where he writes about architecture and Africa for magazines such as Ogojiii and The Guardian. He is a contributing author to the book Architectural Guide: Sub-Saharan Africa by Dom Publishers. Conteh is currently collaborating with Cave architects in Nairobi on a heritage and restoration project of an ancient Swahili town. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster, where he teaches undergraduate architecture students. Conteh is proud of his 2016 contribution to the creation a conservation guideline plan for the Accra Children’s Library, built in 1966, by Richard Nickson and Borys. He is mentored by the internationally-renowned architect Eva Jiricna and Pierre d’Avoine. One of his career ambitions is to create a living repository of African architecture by teaching, practicing, and documenting design on the continent.