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Designing a Working Space for an Art Icon: A Conversation between El Anatsui and Tony Asare


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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

Maxwell African Scholars Union presents 

Designing a Working Space for an Art Icon: A Conversation between El Anatsui and Tony Asare

Architect Tony Asare and artist El Anatsui will discuss their collaboration on the design of Anatsui’s art studio in Ghana. The conversation will focus on the joy and challenges of communication between an architect who was tasked to give form to an art studio, and an artist whose work is often described to have “unfixed form.”


The conversation will be moderated by Yutaka Sho, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Syracuse University

Tony Asare

Tony Asare is the director of the architecture firm Tekton Consult in Accra, Ghana. He has practiced in Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and other African countries for over 24 years. He was trained at the School of Architecture in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, and Urban Planning and Infrastructure Management from Human Settlement Management Institute (HUDCO) in Delhi, India. Tony was the winner of the Affordable Housing competition while he was still a student; Social Housing for slum upgrading in Amui-Dzor, Ashaiman; and the Conservation and Restoration of Historical Homes for the Elmina Cultural Heritage and Management Programme, together with Urban Solutions. Tony designed the mascot of the Under 20 Soccer Tournament held in Ghana in 1999. Tony writes a blog about infrastructure and planning issues in Ghana.


El Anatsui

El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist living and working in Nigeria, is best known for his sculpture made with typically discarded materials such as thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of aluminum bottle caps sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire. His use of these materials reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent, Africa, while transcending the limitations of place. His work can interrogate the history of colonialism and draw connections between consumption, waste, and the environment, but at the core is his unique formal language that distinguishes his practice. His work has been shown at some of the most prestigious art collections in the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; The British Museum; and the Vatican Museum. 

Co-sponsored by the School of Architecture and the College of Visual and Performing Arts

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For more information or to request accommodation arrangements, please contact Havva Karakas Keles, 

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