A common reader : Teatro del’Archivio

Ola-Dele Kuku

29 May 2014 |  by Janantoon


Ola-Dele Kuku (photo: Jan Mariën)

When I first saw one of Ola-Dele Kuku’s furniture pieces, I was immediately captured. This piece was exhibited in the Design Museum Ghent.
Actually, ‘furniture’ is a misleading label. The objects he creates certainly present themselves as furniture, but they do not limit themselves to mere functionality. All his creations boast an unusual playfulness, as if they are made solely for the homo ludens.Last week Ola-Dele showed me his older work Teatro del’Archivio in the Brussels gallery of Philippe Laeremans.
This is a piece of furniture that has the presence of a sculpture, a monumental work, while at the same time it seems like a big toy. Like a little boy with shining eyes one wants to try everything: rotate the big cylinder, the inner cylinder, open every door, open every drawer and search for hidden places.

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Conflict and Design by John Thackara

john thackara

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Agenda Setting III – The Running Mean (2013)

15.12.13 – 9.03.2014 – C-mine Genk

Conflict is one of the recurrent themes in the work of Ola-Dele Kuku. The architect-artist sees conflict as one of the driving mechanisms in our world, and as a tool to set change in motion. Conflict has played a crucial role since the dawn of creation, just think of the stories of the Big Bang and the paradise of Adam and Eve.

Agenda Setting III

According to Ola-Dele Kuku our world has reached a turning point. The existing hierarchy is at its zenith and is therefore about to fall. We have lost our faith in God, we no longer fear him. Even morality, terms like good and bad and our complete image of society must be revised. Because morality changes depending on the side you are on. And although social media sometimes give the impression that our world is just a village, we are still increasingly concerned with what is happening outside our own front door.

How our world will evolve is still unclear, but there is no doubt that conflict stimulates change. It stands the existing order on its head and inspires innovation. Therefore, according to Kuku, we must learn to use conflict as a tool and learn how to manage it so that a new order can establish itself in nature and in politics.

With Agenda Setting III (the running mean) Kuku presents an installation that consists of open books in different languages. The words written in them refer to contradictions in our knowledge, methods of interpretation and belief, to causes of conflict. The words and texts form, as it were, a sort of pixels of the bigger picture. By not presenting any images Kuku wishes to allow the onlooker the freedom to connect his own visual connotations with the words and reverses the usual process of interpretation of an image. Agenda Setting III (the running mean) thus provides the onlooker with an alternative window on the world.

Elien Haentjens



Conflict & Design With the support of the City of Genk and the Flemish government.

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7de Triënnale voor Vormgeving in Vlaanderen

Conflict & Design – the 7th edition of the Design Triennial in Flanders – shows how designers approach conflict situations and the impact their designs can have within our society.
The exhibition provides food for thought about how, in the (near) future, we will be obliged to interact with each other and manage our natural resources in fundamentally different ways.

AGENDA SETTING III – the running mean

Ola-Dele Kuku’s work for this Triennial will be exhibited in the ‘Conflict&Conflict’ section.


Conflict & Conflict gaat over design op het niveau van de ontwrichte samenleving, met andere woorden over conflicten met een grote C. Hoe ga je als designer aan de slag binnen contexten waar genormaliseerde maatschappelijke regels niet meer gelden, zoals in gevangenissen, of in gebieden zoals Palestina, of in de favelas van Brazilië?

Wat wordt er van een ontwerper verwacht wanneer hij of zij geconfronteerd wordt met oorlogssituaties of natuurrampen? Op welke manier kan design tegemoet komen aan specifieke noden en behoeftes? Hoe kan design worden ingezet als katalysator voor het creëren van orde en harmonie in onze samenleving?

Het laatste project dat we op deze Triënnale presenteren gaat over de dood, het ultieme conflict. Hier ligt de focus op de voortdurende strijd van de mens om de dood voor zich uit te schuiven.


15.12.13 – 9.03.2014

For more info : please visit www.conflictanddesign.be
Adress: C-mine, C-mine 10, 3600 Genk (GPS-adress: Evence Coppéelaan 91, 3600 Genk)
Conflict & Design is een initiatief van Design Vlaanderen, C-mine en Innovatie en Design Euregio.


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Ola-Dele KUKU


Ludwig Trossaert is proud to present the new solo show “The Saga Continues”

in GALERIE LUDWIG TROSSAERT, museumstraat 29, Antwerp

with recent work of Ola-Dele Kuku (Lagos – Los Angeles – Brussels).

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7th Design Triennial Flanders 2013 – Conflict and Design (workshop 3)

The 7th Triennial for Design in Flanders 2013 is an investigation into the social relevance of design and the role and responsibility of designers in our society.

This Triennial is a forum for designers who wish to contribute to this public debate. Their work can be considered as essential as we are forced to live and act differently and to change our attitudes towards our natural resources.
Conflict is a starting point for designers to think about our society, to create content and significance within a design process and to produce sustainable and economically viable products.

W O R K S H O P 3

Design application

in post-conflict rehabilitation


Workshopteam : Ola-Dele Kuku, Martine De Maeseneer, Gideon Boie.


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Paris Art and Design Fair 2013


For the 2013 Edition of PAD Paris Art + Design, Galerie Flak is pleased to present contemporary design furniture by Nigerian architect and artist Ola-Dele KUKU along with a selection of ancient fine art from Africa, Ocenia and North America.

Photo © Christian Carez


Designer – Architecte – Artiste : Ola-Dele Kuku
Bois d’aulne rouge (Alnus rubra)
Dimensions: 207 cm x 207 cm x 44 cm


presented by


PAD – Paris Art and Design Fair (27th March – 1st April 2013)

Stand Number 49



27 MARCH – 1st APRIL 2013

Night Opening
Friday, March 29th 11AM-10PM


Galerie Flak, established in 1990, is located 8 Rue des Beaux-Arts, Paris 6th arrondissement. Galerie Flak Art Tribal specialises in ancient tribal art from Africa, Oceania & North America as well as contemporary design. We pride ourselves in dealing in museum quality pieces with prestigious provenances. The gallery closely works with the major ethnography museums around the world (Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Rietberg Museum in Zurich, museums in Tahiti, Taiwan, Jerusalem, etc.). Julien Flak is a certified expert of the C.E.C.O.A. (The European Chamber Of Expert-Advisors In Fine Art).


PAD, pioneering event for Art and Design aficionados and collectors, has been reinventing for the past 17 years the Cabinet d’Amateur and the notion of eclecticism, anticipating the esthetic aspirations of its time.
Esplanade des Feuillants, Entrance 234 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris Métro : Tuileries




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‘Speaking in Vernacular’ Ola-Dele Kuku (Monograph) 2012

‘S P E A K I N G   I N   V E R N A C U L A R’
Exposition – Présentation du livre
30 Mars – 22 Avril 2012

INAUGURATION : Jeudi 29 Mars 2012

(18.00 – 22.00)

Philippe Laeremans Gallery
27, Rue des Minimes
1000 Brussels

Pour Ola-Dele Kuku (architecte artiste) l’art traditionnel africain et l’art
moderne et contemporain sont absolument indissociables, compte tenu de
l’influence active et l’apport du premier sur le second. Philippe Laeremans
entame ici sa deuxième confrontation entre l’art traditionnel et l’oeuvre de
l‘artiste, composée de dessin, d’images, de peinture, de collage,
de physique et de chimie.
(Roger Ndéma Kingué)

Limited Edition

Monograph – 2012 – 178 pages
Texts by : Sara Weyns F. K ehinde Oluyadi Chika Unigwe Roger Ndéma Kingué
Layout : Wilfrieda Paessens
With the participation of : Philippe Laeremans Van Maradi Foundation
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Ola-Dele Kuku at the Design Museum Gent

“You cannot see, hear or feel ideas. Design and architecture are thus a way for ideas to materialize “

Until the end of August 2012

Similar differences

Until the end of August 2012, the furniture object “Similar differences“, designed by Ola-Dele Kuku, a designer / architect with Nigerian roots, presented in the Design museum Gent. The remarkable storage cabinet is part of a series. Ola Dele-Kuku drew this architectural object, the implementation was done by the VTI woodworking students from Roeselare. The collaboration illustrates the social conscience of the designer / architect, who may also be called philosopher, artist and researcher.
Jan Breydelstraat 5 BE-9000 GENT



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RTBF Interview – ‘Passeurs de Monde’

Ola-Dele Kuku RTBF interview – Passeurs de mondes – 2011

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Save Queen Elisabeth’s piano – (the mini project)

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Kwintessens Publication (Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Vormgeving en Mode) ‘Designing for Conflict and Chaos’ – interwiew by Kurt Vanbelleghem




in Kwintessens – Forms of design that go beyond the logic of demand and supply –

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