Periodic and Final Reports

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Periodic Report Summary 1 – Afrobridge (The African connection and post-war design principles in architecture: the intellectual bridge to Europe and the USA)

Summary description of the project objectives

In the modern era, colonial and anthropological surveys of Africa, economic investments and the fascination for the primitive drove the Western interest in sub-Saharan architecture. After World War II, traditional Africa has acquired a key, but not yet adequately explored, role in the development of Western architecture and culture. Beginning in 1945, university programs sponsored lectures and courses on traditional African architecture; Western journals and magazines published a growing number of articles on the topic; and international congresses and meetings focused on sub-Saharan buildings. As a result, the interest in Africa has deepened, challenging the modernist idiom and affecting architectural design in Europe, the US, and Africa itself.

Focusing on the post-war mobility of people, ideas, and publications, the project AFROBRIDGE sheds light on the influence of traditional African architecture on Western modernism, and analyzes the ways in which intercontinental relations were determined. Main result of the research will be a book that offers insight into the intertwining of post-war modernist critiques and culture, and African architectural traditions. Readers and scholars will discover a rich and illuminating array of material on Africa and Western architecture from a period crucial to understanding the present time.
Dr. Dainese provided updates on the research related to the AFROBRIDGE project at


Dainese Elisa, “Histories of Exchange: Indigenous South Africa in the South African Architectural Review and the Architectural Review”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol.74 no.4 (Dec 2015, currently under publication)
Dainese Elisa, “Le Corbusier’s proposal for the capital of Ethiopia,” Proceedings of the International Congress Le Corbusier, 50 years later, (Valencia: UPV Press, 2015, currently under publication)
Dainese Elisa, “A New Lesson from the Territory of Bandiagara, Mali: the Dogon Landscape Transformation of the Cliff” in Cavallo R., Komossa S., Marzot N., Berghauser Pont M., Kuijper J. (eds.), New Urban Configurations, (IOS Press – Delft University Press: Amsterdam, 2014), 897-903
Dainese Elisa, “The Concept of “Habitat”: the Cellular Design Reformulation of the Postwar Modern Movement” in Newman C., Nussaume Y., Pedroli B. (eds.), Landscape and Imagination. Towards a New Baseline for Education in a Changing World, (Florence: UNISCAPE, Bandecchi & Vivaldi, Pontedera, 2013), 51-54


For more information see the web page of the European Union website that is dedicated to this report

This research is supported by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme