Design, art, etc

African Sci-Fi: Pumzi (2009)


[…] sci-fi in an African context often means going “back to the future” as much as forward, the “natural” direction of most Western science fiction.


PUMZI (IMDB) – short film 21′ – Kenya 2009 – by Wanuri Kahiu with Kudzani Moswela

A sci-fi film about Africa in the future, 35 years after World War III, the water war.

Pumzi - the outside is dead

Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.

Design, art, etc

Urban Design: traffic lights

Despite a global (worldwide?) understanding of the symbols (lights and their colours), the actual design of pedestrian control boxes or signal and traffic lights can vary greatly from country to country, potentially creating confusion.

traffic lights - urban design
Traffic Light Tree by Pierre Vivant, London Docklands, 1998.

Designers need to think for all pedestrians, for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or sight-impaired people, wheelchair users and for people from different languages and cultures too, able-bodied or not.

For drivers, of course, the needs are quite different: height and visibility become key factors in the placement and positioning of traffic lights.

But the frequent traveler will notice that design and placement of traffic lights can be quite different from country to country.

Horizontal or vertical, near the stop line or on the other side of the street, « floating » above the street, just connected via a cable… some lights are well organised in many countries, much less in others…

cinemagraph - traffic