2017 IFI Congress
African Culture &
Design Festival


World-Class Design in Regional Markets

Interior Architecture/Design into the Future

9 – 10 November 2017  |  Eko Hotel  |  Lagos, Nigeria

The 2017 IFI CONGRESS and African Culture & Design Festival  brought together professionals from around the globe to discuss innovative design solutions at this critical time in our global history. Organized under the theme World-Class Design in Regional Markets: Interior Architecture/Design into the Future, this global event explored creativity as a transformative vehicle for economic and social development. Keynote speeches delivered by experts from across design disciplines debated the global social responsibility of the industry and plotted the future of design excellence. The event also featured an art exhibition themed “This is Africa”, featuring renowned African curators and artists. The exhibition explored the artistic history of the continent and charted the future of African design.


The 2017 IFI Congress and African Culture & Design Festival is free and open to the public.


Keynote Speakers

Sir David Adjaye

Principal & Founder, Adjaye Associates


Sir David Adjaye OBE is the principal and founder of Adjaye Associates. Born in Tanzania to Ghanian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in fall of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times. In 2017, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by TIME magazine





Kunlé Adeyemi

Founder & Principal, NLÉ
Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, designer and urban researcher. His notable work includes ‘Makoko Floating School’, an innovative prototype floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Lagos.

This acclaimed work is part of an extensive research project – ‘African Water Cities’ – being developed by NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice founded by Adeyemi in 2010 that focuses on developing cities and communities. NLÉ is currently planning for a number of urban, research and architectural projects in Africa; one of which is Chicoco Radio Media Center; the amphibious building in Delta city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Before founding NLÉ, Adeyemi worked for OMA, where he led the design, development and execution of high profile projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange tower in China, the Qatar National Library and Prada Transformer in Seoul.




Dr. Carol Becker

Dean of Faculty & Professor of the Arts, School of the Arts, Columbia University

Carol Becker is a writer, culture critic, and educator. She is Professor of the Arts and Dean of Columbia University School of the Arts. Before this appointment she was Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is the author of numerous articles and several books about art, culture, and pedagogy including: The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change; The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety; Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art; Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production and most recently a memoir/essay entitled Losing Helen.





Alfredo Brillembourg

Co-Founder, Urban-Think Tank (U-TT)
Co-Chair, Architecture & Urban Planning, Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH)

Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York. He received his Bachelor of Art and Architecture in 1984 and his Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. In 1992, he received a second architecture degree from the Central University of Venezuela and began his independent practice in architecture.

In 1998, he founded the interdisciplinary design practice Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) with Hubert Klumpner in Caracas, Venezuela. Since 1994 he has been a member of the Venezuelan Architects and Engineers Association, and has been a guest professor at the University Jose Maria Vargas, the University Simon Bolivar, and the Central University of Venezuela. Starting in 2007, Brillembourg and Clumpier served as guest professors at the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning, Columbia University, where they co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab). Since 2010, Brillembourg and Klumpner have held a Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.



Dr. Lou Yongqi

Dean and Professor, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University

Prof. Dr. Lou Yongqi is Dean of the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University in Shanghai. He is a full professor at Tongji, Visiting Professor at University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Lou is a leading figure in sustainable interdisciplinary design education, research, and practice.

He was one of the first designers in China to connect social innovation and sustainable design thinking with rural development. Lou has been the pioneer in China for design-driven innovation education that connects design, business, and technology and furthers this agenda through international collaboration. Lou is the Board Director of WDO, World Design Organization, and Founding Executive Editor of She Ji: the Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation published by Tongji University through Elsevier.