Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata, working with Basel-based architect Christophe Scheidegger, has created the Favela Cafe at Art Basel, bringing the impoverished architecture of Brazil to a major global art event. Favelas refer to the slums of Brazil, mostly found in densely populated urban areas where historically, social outcasts and those who had no place to live were forced to go. Kawamata sought inspiration from the simple but efficient designs found in such areas and built an outdoor cafe based around the favela.
By putting together simple constructions using wooden planks and boards, a series of "huts" and furniture were built, creating an area for the event's visitors to purchase and enjoy drinks. While it seems highly inappropriate that the aesthetics slum life were used at a high-profile event, far from the favelas of Brazil, the installation brings awareness to this bitter paradox.
Watch the cafe in construction below, as Kawamata describes his project: