This year we curated Design 4 People, an exhibit at the heart of the Dak’Art Biennal that is a celebration of design in its social, cultural, political and economic context, in the service of people.
With Design 4 People our goal was to open the debate on the role of design, and its impact and responsibility in Senegal and Africa. We identified 4 protagonists as needing to play a key role in Senegal—the people, designers, industries, and political parties.
To this end, we collected designs from urban and rural Senegal, ranging from food packaging to street vendors' carts, political t-shirts to newspaper layouts, to utensils and tools.
With each object we wanted to invite viewers to be reminded of their own interactions with design in their daily lives. This included understanding design in all its diversity–graphic, packaging, fashion, street furniture, product design, etc; encouraging them to take a more active interest in their environment and discover design’s role in improving the living conditions of populations; and honoring the people who contribute to making design a viable economic force in Dakar.
Youssou N'Dour, Senegal’s new minister of culture and tourism, came to tour. As did 200 elementary school students. And that is just the beginning.
The exhibition will be open until May 30, 2012. Come and visit.