bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away: Decolonizing the Campus


Goethe-Institut Nigeria, Gallery 16/16, the Department of Architecture at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria





The symposium Decolonizing the Campus will be held in Lagos on 23 and 24 November 2018, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Gallery 16/16, the Department of Architecture at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria.

Through dialogue between local and international architects and scholars, the symposium will offer a critical dialogue on design pedagogy and campus construction as practiced at the start of Nigeria’s transition to independence.

The Decolonizing the Campus symposium focuses in particular on Obafemi Awolowo University.
Founded in 1961 as the University of Ife in protest against British education policy in place at the end of colonial rule, it was, significantly, the first post-independence university in Nigeria to possess an architecture faculty.

The Israeli architect Zvi Efrat has been commissioned by bauhaus imaginista to conduct on-site research and produce a short film about the development of the University of Ife campus, which was designed by Bauhaus graduate Arieh Sharon together with a team of Nigerian architects (including Lagos-based architect A.A. Egbor).
Sharon completed his studies at Bauhaus Dessau in 1931, returning to Palestine where he was subsequently appointed head of the State Planning Authority after Israeli Independence. His involvement with Ife campus was part of Israel’s development aid programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sharon and his team designed the University of Ife campus over a twenty-year period lasting into the 1980s. How did the resulting campus in the ancient town Ife-Ile differ from colonial era campus architecture built? How was the Ile-Ife Campus perceived by local students and architects and how does it function today?