Professor Germane Barnes presents 'Ukhamba'

by Madison Brinnon
Professor Germane Barnes presents 'Ukhamba'

Germane Barnes, director and professor at University of Miami School of Architecture, Miami-based artist, architect, presents Ukhamba, his latest commission by MOAD (Museum of Art and Design) at the MDC Wolfson Campus. The exhibition runs until February 24, 2024, followed by a showcase at MDC North Campus from March 11 to May 26, 2024.

Ukhamba stands as a striking 10-foot-tall circular installation crafted from curved wooden elements stacked in horizontal layers. The design, featuring four arched entrances, invites visitors to step inside and rest, all while maintaining a clear view of the surrounding plaza and urban landscape. The installation incorporates benches constructed from discarded wood pieces, sourced by Professor Barnes's CHIL lab at the University of Miami School of Architecture.

Inspired by Professor Barnes's experiences working both in South Africa and Miami, Ukhamba not only responds to Miami's sub-tropical climate but also harmonizes architectural elements representative of diasporic communities with African and Caribbean origins. The pavilion, resembling part basket and part traditional breeze wall, serves as a unique space for contemplation on our connection to the built environment, urban design, historical narratives, and cultural memories.


Professor Barnes's exploration of spatial identity, migration, and the cultural influences of the African diaspora on classical architecture, Ukhamba utilizes materials primarily sourced from South Florida. The artist's commitment to sustainability is evident in the design, fostering a dialogue with the history and natural environment that envelops it.

Ukhamba comes to life through collaboration with Studio Barnes and the contributions of individuals such as Andrea Martinez, Isabella Adelsohn, George Elliott, and Noelle Davis. It marks the second installment in the series of annual MOAD Pavilions, curated by Isabela Villanueva, MOAD Consulting Curator.