Coen Beeker is a Dutch urbanist who worked in Africa for a large part of his life. He is well-known for the ‘Beeker method’: his personal, distinctive approach to urban planning.
On the 19th of March, starting at 16:15, IHS will host the opening event for the exhibition of Beeker’s materials, spanning 40 years of his work in Africa. The materials for the exhibition have been provided by African Architecture Matters (AAMatters), a non-profit NGO focused on African architecture and urbanism.
Coen Beeker himself will be present at the event, which will also include a presentation of “The Beeker Method: Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City”, a book focused on Beeker’s urban style. Beeker will then host a Q&A session together with Antoni Folkers, one of the founders of AAMatters.
As already mentioned, the exhibition features materials spanning 40 years of Beeker’s work in Africa. These are mostly photographs highlighting his deep connection with the local community, but also designs, drawings and plans.
The main focus of the exhibition is Beeker’s work in the city of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Here, he actually put into practice the so-called ‘Beeker Method’, providing basic infrastructure and housing security to the city. This mainly happened through community consultations, with little interference from the higher institutions of the country. Beeker’s connection with the city of Ouagadougou spanned nearly four decades, starting from the 70s, well into the 80s and the 90s until the 21st century.
Other materials witness Coen Beeker’s work in other African countries, like Sudan, Ethiopia and Tunisia.
The exhibition summarises this long journey and it’s a real pleasure for IHS to share Coen Beeker’s inspirational career with staff, students and anyone who is interested in learning more about his life and his work.