JOUR FIXE with Matteo Ferroni
‘Collective Light for Rural Mali’: The Making of an Anthropological Tool
Italian architect Matteo Ferroni spent over two years living in the Rural Communities of Mali studying anthropological patterns to create an appropriate lighting tool. The main concepts were to brighten activities rather than spaces and to deliver a collective tool rather than a public lighting network. He realized in place a first prototype to experiment with villagers. The embrace of this technology was above expectations and after six months 56 lanterns were manufactured in 10 villages of the Commune Rurale de Cinzana, a community of 72 villages with 36.600 inhabitants. The project introduced a social sharing of technology and energy: each village elected a committee to manage the lanterns and schedule their allocation within the community, so that real needs are attended with only four to six portable lanterns. This lamp entered collective activities like mill grinding, collecting water, literacy and individual activities like roadside commerce, childbirths, animal vaccination, craft works: But also changed rituals like weddings and funerals: now with also night burials.
Ferroni’s work, awarded by the City of Barcelona with the Honorable Mention at the CitytoCity Award, affirms the relevance of Cultures and Territories. Graduated at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio in Switzerland. He has been guest lecturer in several Universities and visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London and at the Ecole Superieure d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme in Bamako. He designed Luca Ronconi's theatre centre and the pavilion of a public garden in Perugia. He performed live visuals with Ludovico Einaudi and afterwards he moved to Mali to realize an open-air venue with singer Rokia Traoré. In 2011 he created the Fondazione eLand with wich is running urban scale projects in Mali and Mexico City.