Built as part of the 2016 Fuorisalone in Milan, the Courtyard Village was shown as part of an exhibition at the historic Palazzo Litta titled A Matter of Perception: Tradition & Technology. Carving paths for social encounter and gathering among visitors, the installation took inspiration from the social and spatial dynamics of a typical African village. Defining this communal ground is an elevated platform surrounded by a ground cover of native Italian grasses. Atop the platform stand three open, circular shelters made of stone, whose shaping and materiality dually express a sense of transparency and mass. Six stone varieties were used, drawing connections to the materiality and craftsmanship of both the historic palace and surrounding cityscape. Overhead, a singular over-hanging roof of bamboo protects and shades the village community below.
The installation features the first chair designed by Kéré. Called ZIBA, the piece references traditional African stools that are shaped by carving solid logs with handmade tools. The ZIBA stool, made of scented cedar, reinterprets this process using an advanced digital technology. The name of the stool refers to a playful Burkinabé expression that discourages idleness. The piece was designed by Kéré for Riva1920, an Italian brand specializing in solid wood furniture.
The Ziba stool is is now available for purchase here: http://www.riva1920.it/it/prodotti/sgabelli/ziba/