BusinessDay

IDAN worries over lack of historical essence in architectural, interior designs

The Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN) has described the Nigerian architectural and interior design outlook as lacking cultural and historical essences.

According to the association, the Nigerian architectural pieces are devoid of colonial references and have little cultural and artistic value attached.

Speaking during a roundtable discussion at an event to mark the World Interiors Day celebration, Kaine Amachree, an interior design expert, said people do not see enough cultural references in architecture and interior designs in Nigeria today.

According to Amachree, it is only in Kano or places like the homes of the Obas, Ooni’s, and the kings that people see beautiful African-based architectural habitats.

Amachree listed Mali and South Africa among countries in Africa that have retained their histories in their architectural pieces.

Describing the focus of colonial architecture, Amachree said a big colonial house had like two big bedrooms, beautiful wooden floors, high ceilings, windows plumbed 90 degrees all over, wooden beams that are fabulously seamed and staircases created out of solid timber.

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“We are no longer casting back to our influence from the colonials and the symbolism of how we lived. Then, we used to use materials like mud, grass, straw, ground shells, and rocks for a reason. Sadly, we have lost that part of our history. We do not have an unusual design or anything very original rather we tend to copy and the internet has really permitted that,” Amachree explained.

Amachree, who lamented the dearth of traditional skills in interior design and architectural drawing, urged designers to always look forward to coming out with something more African.

“We are losing artisanal skills and need to bring back the artisans from Edo state where we used to get carvers. We are losing weavers even the Hausa people that used to do the hats. We are losing all those skills to the importation of foreign designs from countries like Dubai that have created their own style in marble, Disney comics, and batman,” she added.

Titi Ogufere, the founder of IDAN, said the topic was important because Africans need to know their past in order to know where they are going.

According to her, not knowing African history is one of the issues in the continent where Africans have been robbed of even knowing their history and identity.

World Interiors Day was set aside by the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers to celebrate the industry. This year’s event was marked with the theme, ‘Pride of the Past, an Incentive for the Future’, aimed at celebrating innovation, while honouring the past and learning from its experiences.

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