Thursday Apr 21, 2022

Thriving on Mull Detour Talk - With Mae-Ling Lokko & Henriëtte Waal (Accra/Arles/The Hague)

Ghanaian-Filipino architectural scientist Mae-ling Lokko is active in the field of biomaterials. A recent work discussed in this talk is Thresholds of Return, a gate made of waste from the Ghanian coconut industry. It is a reconstruction of the Door of No Return in Elmina (Ghana), through which the enslaved were led out of Africa. Wong & Krier got to know about Lokko’s work in Mull through Tom Morton (Arc Architects), with whom she designed an ‘open air classroom’ for the Future by Design Cove park residency in the lead up to COP26.

Designer and researcher Henriëtte Waal co-initiated Atelier Luma, an experimental design laboratory in Arles, France, in 2016. Among other programs, Waal helped set up a residency programme there for designers, which is how she first met Lokko. Waal’s system-level projects integrate design, community and ecology and involve collaborations with scientists, communities, an international network of makers, and students.

In this joyful and at times technical Friday afternoon talk, Lokko and Waal share memories and insights about food as a community binder and talk about practices of hardscaping versus ‘mounding’ (contouring permeable earth) to resolve water circulation problems in cities. Mae-ling introduces the idea/theory of generative justice (the bottom up creation, translation and circulation of value) and very vividly describes her recent installation Thresholds of Return. Henriette chimes in when ‘bioregional design’ come to the table: localty and Co2 footprint are easily overlooked in biobased design. Let’s start from the feet up.

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