Architects and designers are using technology to create architectural wonders for people in Africa and beyond.
It’s a theme that’s already being explored with the installation of a 3D printer in Africa.
The project, called The Black Tower in the African Capital, was a collaboration between the National Gallery of Art and The African National Congress.
Its 3D printing has produced an interactive sculpture in which the structure of the Black Tower sits on a pedestal that’s attached to the ground by cables.
The Black tower is a testament to the power of architecture to transform lives, and the digital 3D prints are the culmination of a long history of black architects creating innovative works of art in Africa, according to National Gallery spokesperson Andrea C. Williams.
The National Gallery will exhibit the 3D print, titled Black Tower, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., until Sept. 24.
The museum, in partnership with the African American Institute of Art, is showcasing Black-designed objects and sculptures as part of its African Art Collection.
The African Art Museum is the largest and oldest museum in the United States, according the museum’s website.
A 3D-printed Black Tower is part of the National Archives’ collection.
Williams says the Black tower was created in collaboration with the National Center for African American Art in New York City, where the tower is housed.
It was designed by the Museum of Modern Art, and a 3-D printing process was employed to create the sculpture, which sits on top of a massive wooden pedestal, according C.T. Williams, the museum spokeswoman.
A 2-D print of the sculpture is being used in a 3.3-D version, Williams says.
In order to print the 3-d print, the African National Center of Art had to hire the 3DI printing company.
“The Black Tower has always been a part of this tradition of African architects creating amazing work of art,” Williams says, adding that the sculpture was meant to “reflect the importance of African architecture and art to the Black community.”
The installation of the 3d printed sculpture was part of a campaign to raise funds for the museum.
Williams also said that the African Art Center is “really excited to be able to partner with the Smithsonian to continue this important work of architecture.”