Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO

Bjarke Ingels/BIG contributes designs for new EU and African currencies for an exhibition of proposals for a Eurafrican Bridge at London's The Gopher Hole.

As part of the exhibition Project Heracles: 200 Postcards from the Eurafrican Border , launching this Thursday 21 July at London's The Gopher Hole , Bjarke Ingels/BIG makes a unique contribution to Project Heracles .

Ingels created two designs for banknotes commemorating the speculative yet all-too-overdue Eurafrican connection that Domus has dubbed Project Heracles . The highest denomination so far of the Euro—the €1,000 note—accompanies a projected new money, the Afro, depicting Egyptian activist and Arab Spring organizer Wael Ghonim. Like the new Euro bill, this imaginary pan-African currency commemorates the construction of the Eurafrican bridge.

  A limited edition of 100 of each note will be printed and distributed to attendees at Thursday's event at The Gopher Hole, which hosts an exhibition of many of the hundreds of compelling postcard-sized proposals for Project Heracles, with free drinks from 7–9 pm, and a DJ until 11.30. Also starting this week, DomusWeb will reprint selections by guest curators, starting with Geoff Manaugh .
About his currency designs, Ingels says:
In response to Project Heracles, Domus' call for ideas for a bridge across the Strait of Gibraltar, BIG has designed a 1,000 EURO bill and a corresponding first proposal for a United African Currency—the AFRO—in a denomination of 1,000.
The two bills portray the proposed connection across the Gibraltar Strait linking Europe and Africa. The bridge is conceived as an inhabited overpass uniting Euro-African typologies such as Firenze's Ponte Vecchio and Le Corbusier's Obus Plan for Algiers into an intercontinental hybrid of city and infrastructure. The investment in concrete and steel doubles as load-bearing structure for living and working spaces for the many immigrants anticipated over the next decades, and will help establish the bridge itself as a bicontinental city in its own right.
The EURO bill draws on the current design template emphasizing architecture as the common denominator between the various European cultures. The AFRO combines great African landmarks—in this case the bridge—with great African people of recent history that have contributed significantly to making a free united Africa a possibility.
Thursday, 19 July 2011, 7 pm–late
The Gopher Hole
350–354 Old Street
LONDON
In response to Project Heracles, Domus' call for ideas for a bridge across the Strait of Gibraltar, BIG has designed a 1,000 EURO bill and a corresponding first proposal for a United African Currency—the AFRO—in a denomination of 1,000.

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