On View

    Germane Barnes: Ukhamba

    November 12, 2023–March 3, 2024


    November 12, 2023–March 3, 2024

    Building 1 Plaza, MDC Wolfson Campus
    300 NE Second Avenue, Downtown Miami


    March 6–May 26, 2024

    Leroy Collins Center, Building 4000, MDC North Campus
    11380 NW 27th Avenue, Miami

    Germane Barnes: Ukhamba

    Named after a type of African woven-wood basket, Ukhamba is a ten-foot-tall circular structure with four arched entrances, built of curved wooden elements stacked in horizontal layers. Its construction invites visitors to walk inside and congregate but allows the surrounding plaza and urban landscape to remain visible through the structure. Inspired by Barnes’s time working abroad in South Africa, as well as in Miami, Ukhamba not only responds to Miami’s sub-tropical climate but also unites architectural elements typical of diasporic communities of African and Caribbean origin. It comprises a pavilion that appears part basket, part traditional breeze wall.

    Ukhamba is a space for reflection on our relationship to the built environment, urban design, its histories, and cultural memories. Barnes’s pavilion continues the artists’ exploration of themes of spatial identity, migration, the cultural influences of the African diaspora, and its contributions to classical architecture. Primarily using materials found in South Florida, the artist has focused on sustainability and has designed a structure in dialogue with the history and natural environment that surrounds it.

    Germane Barnes is the Principal of Studio Barnes and an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Architecture Graduate Program at the University of Miami School of Architecture, where his is also the Director of the Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL). Barnes’s practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Born in Chicago, Barnes received a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Architecture from Woodbury University, where he was awarded the Thesis Prize for his project Symbiotic Territories: Architectural Investigations of Race, Identity, and Community.

    His work was included in The Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking 2021 exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America and in the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He won the 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, was a 2021–22 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, and was a member of the inaugural cohort of The Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab created by Theaster Gates and sponsored by Prada. His work has been featured MAS Context, Milan Design Week, The New York Times, and Architect Magazine, and acquired for the permanent collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His widely published project Griot was included in the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, The Laboratory of the Future.

    Barnes’ award-winning research and design practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Mining architecture’s social and political agency, he examines how the built environment influences Black domesticity.

    Germane Barnes: Ukhamba is realized in collaboration with Studio Barnes and the following individuals: Andrea Martinez, Isabella Adelsohn, George Elliott, and Noelle Davis.

    Germane Barnes: Ukhamba is the second in a series of annual commissioned MOAD Pavilions, curated by Isabela Villanueva, MOAD Consulting Curator. The first, Rafael Domenech's Estuary [Pavilion for MOAD], opened at the MDC Wolfson Campus in November 2022 and was later reconfigured at the MDC Kendall Campus.

    MOAD's programs are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. They are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.