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Conakry – Univers des Mots
[applied] Foreign Affairs

Baerbel Mueller, architecte autrichienne et professeur à l’Institut d’Architecture de Vienne, est venue à Conakry avec son assistante Frida Robles et un groupe d’étudiants du programme [applied] Foreign Affairs

Après avoir imaginé depuis Vienne différentes propositions d’interventions dans l’espace public de Conakry, sur place, ils ont réalisé une structure architecturale, signal urbain, adaptable à différents usages durant le Festival Univers des Mots

pour le spectacle ‘Les survivants’



A Telling

Zach Beale / [a]FA

It always begins with breakfast. As a team, we developed a common ceremony, with aspects satisfying each of our needs, our individual rituals merged into one. For some, the ritual was coffee, a morning necessity. For some, the ritual became the search for food: daily bread, fruit, eggs, or whatever strikes a fancy at a market, for a good price. For some, eating was crucial. Together, our rituals merged into a ceremony, each day and every day, bringing cohesion to what would be a chaotic series of events punctuating the effort to pull off what would emerge as our Portique. Each breakfast was a moment of peace, conversation, and reflection.

Portique did not arise as a result of a strict, linear process. Rather, the project came into focus through a series of conversations, negotiations, and emerging technical requirements, and lived as a result of the manifestation of those limitations and discussions into form.

One of the early motivators of the project was discussion: internally and externally, and perhaps within ourselves, re-evaluating our roles in the context and among our group. While still in Vienna, our group undertook a combination of tasks, some performative, some analytical, and some personal, the main goal of which was to not just understand a new perspective on context, but also to understand each other, to allow us to be more comfortable with discussion amongst ourselves, and outside of ourselves.

From our kickoff in Vienna, we learned how to express ourselves within a group of people from extremely different backgrounds, each with different perspectives, in a way that was not aggressive, but rather progressive. Through stimulating conversation, we developed an internal repertoire that was the basis for our communication on Portique. ‘Starting from nothing’ is the exact condition of Portique: without any understood limitations, how do we create? Through discussion, we discover boundaries, practicalities, and concepts which start to form the idea in a collaborative field of minds. Through research into context and materiality, we discover potential.


[a]FA_Conakry_Zach Beale_final edited

before Conakry

several propositions, projects, thinking to Conakry from [a]FA in Vienna (Austria)

4 Places in Conakry + selected works_Alunovic Oliver-min


191028 Compile_Anni Dai_small

20191025_Concept UdM_aFA



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