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We Rest at the Bird’s Nest. 2023
Scaffolding, recycled cardboard, flour, dried grass
Collaborators: Papa Omotayo (Architect), Eve Nnaji (Architect), Ahmed Adeokun (Architectural Assistant), Love Bamigbola (Architectural Assistant), Wale Bamigboye (Workshop), Tunji Fashanu (FAP Structural Consultants), Adebayo Matin (FAP Structural Consultants)
Mechanical and unambiguous, Sharjah’s industrial areas are perpetuated through self-organizing moving parts. Piles of automotive waste make their way through tracts of dusty roads on bicycles. Stores display and sell reworked lights, steering wheels, and oil filters. The region’s waste here is transformed into new products. Within this animated system, the question “Where does life happen?” reverberates — at every glimpse of empty plots and unoccupied interstitial spaces.
As Papa Omotayo and Eve Nnaji walked through this industrial area, encountering continuous plots of recycled materials and products — life came in pockets. They came across a mound of vegetative waste expelling an organic smell, foreign to the mechanical landscape. Then, an alleyway of nurtured plants, a series of cramped mechanic stores hosting small bird cages, and finally, a place of solace among plants and birds, created by the local workers.
What happens when a platform is provided to this dispersed agency — to recognize a collective point of rest? We Rest at the Bird’s Nest creates an array of nesting rooms for humans and birds. Arrayed in rows, small dwellings composed of paper and grass offer sanctuary and meeting grounds for the region’s birds. This layered form, composed of elementary organic waste found in the area and scaffolding, suggests its lifespan abides by the ephemeral nature of both ecology and construction.
At the end of its use, the structure will undergo the natural digestion of the industrial zone or perhaps find a new beginning. This space offers a template for collective agency by reinforcing the simplest habits of rest; tending, caring, and observing.
View into the interior from bottom to top
Papa Omotayo (MOE+ AA) and Eve Nnaji (ADD_apt) are a collaborating team based in Lagos, Nigeria working on a series of projects and installations focused on cultural infrastructure, ecology, and material intelligence.
Papa Omotayo is an award-winning filmmaker, architect, designer, and writer. His work strongly focuses on exploring the nature of culture and its context within contemporary Nigerian and the extended African setting, locally and globally.
Eve Nnaji is an architectural designer, researcher, and writer. She is the founder of Addapt, a practice that utilizes architecture, design, and data as a tool to bridge environmental consciousness with urban development. Her research interests include urban flood mitigation strategies, bio-fabrication, and material intelligence.
MOE+ Art Architecture (MOE+AA) is an architecture, design, and artistic production practice established in Lagos, Nigeria in 2014. It aims to enhance the quality and value of design across the continent through a collaborative human and environmentally sensitive practice, one that embraces local solutions and aspirations. Focusing on context, culture, materiality, and ecology, its current portfolio within Nigeria aims to define a pragmatic African-led design process of making through engagement with the art of motifs and metaphors.
© Texts: Sharjah Architecture Triennial.
© Photos: Haupt & Binder, Universes in Universe.