Current Work: Africatown, A Collaborative Approach

Africatown International Design Idea Competition winners discuss their designs for the historically layered site and the collaborative process behind their submissions.

November 8, 2023

October 18, 2023

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Inspired by the nearby 2019 discovery of the Clotilda, the last known ship used to transport enslaved Africans to the United States, the Africatown International Design Idea Competition gave design teams an opportunity to imagine a revived Africatown. Encouraging architectural concepts using African design principles, creative placemaking, and destination tourism planning, the competition engaged a jury of sixteen local leaders and design professionals to evaluate proposals for four land and water-edged sites across three cities in southern Alabama.

WXY architecture + urban design, Body Lawson Associates, Architects & Planners, and Jerome Haferd Studio are three of the winning firms and formed part of a larger team that developed a shared design vision, vocabulary, and material scheme to support their individual submissions.

In this video, Claire Weisz and Farida Abu-Bakare of WXY, Jerome Haferd, and Victor Body-Lawson give presentations on their winning collaboration.

The presentations are followed by a response from design jury members Anderson Flen, Darron Patterson, and Major Joe Womack and a view into the process of planning this transformative initiative, from competition coordinator Vickii Howell and professional competition advisor Renne Kemp-Rotan.

The program closes with a conversation moderated by Mario Gooden, jury member and president of The Architectural League.