Title: Tropical toolbox : fry and drew and the search for an African modernity
Author: Jacopo Galli
Publication Year: 2019
Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew are two key figures of British architecture in the second half of the twentieth century, their most important work was the book Tropical Architecture in the Dry and Humid Zones, a manual compiled from the experience acquired in Ghana and Nigeria between 1949 and 1960. The manual is the formalisation of a design method specific for tropical areas, the search for a renewed rooting of modern architecture, not based on formal research or the revival of folkloric themes, but on the close relationship between environmental support and anthropic intervention. The design method has its roots in African colonial history and was the result of a long process of adaptation of Western modernist ideas to the extreme climatic conditions of the African continent. A cosmopolitan localism based on the application of science in humanistic terms and capable of combining global and local dimensions was translated into an approach that respected the deep roots of tradition while providing innovation in terms of architectural solutions.
Materials is a book series by Iuav. It reflects the multi-faceted and concrete research conducted in its facilities, Department, Master School, and Design Archive. Programmatically open to convey the different expressions of design culture, it focuses on unpublished documents that combine visual and conversational narrations.
Book series edited by Università Iuav di Venezia
Fernanda De Maio (coordinator), Silvana Annicchiarico, Jean Lucien Bonillo, Luca Ortelli, Josep Parcerisa Bundò, Francesco Trovato
Jacopo Galli (Crema, 1985) obtained his PhD from Università Iuav di Venezia with a dissertation on the African works of Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. He was among the curator of the architectural section in the exhibition Africa Big Change – Big Chance in La Triennale Milan and CIVA Bruxelles. He was the author of a book devoted to the Ethiopian works of Arturo Mezzedimi and has been part of international exhibitions (Biennale di Venezia, Triennale di Milano) and workshops (Virginia University Venice Program, Rebuilding Syria from Within, W.A.Ve. 2017 Syria the Making of the Future). He is currently part of Urbicide Task Force, a multi-disciplinary think tank on architectural and urban reconstruction strategies, that is a consultant for the World Bank program Building for Peace in MENA.