About akufi.org

Akufi.org is maintained for the moment by one volunteer, me, Paul Anderson. I would be glad for any constructive comments or suggestions - you can reach me at p_j_anderson@volny.cz

People around the world, not only in North Africa, are taking what they have inherited of Berber culture and building on it. With their own creativity they add something positive to the experience of life for themselves and others. Their activities cover the environment, both natural and built, education, music, visual arts, and literature, for example.

Here, you can find the tools that you need to get involved (and, in future, there will also be information about what's happening).

The graphic design of this site takes the essence of traditional Berber decorative art and applies it to a new medium. Without interfering with the web's visual conventions that help people learn to use a site quickly and to read pages, the design uses rich colour, textures and motifs. Edges of spaces are marked rather like on pots, and planned buttons are inspired by metalwork and wood carving. So the site is recognisable in basic form, but different in style, like any Berber utensil compared to its mass-produced counterpart.

The design's approach differs from the usual in two ways. Firstly, it places great importance on decoration. The decoration is an integral part of each page because the site is intended not only to convey its message and be functional, but also to be pleasing and to fulfil its designer. Because the decoration is not driven directly by function, and the users are accustomed to richer motifs in other media, there is more scope for the designer's creativity. Secondly, the design draws most strongly on Berber tradition in particular. Because the site's theme is Berber culture, it was possible to make the site's appearance part of its function as a cultural repository.

Any other sites could benefit from such a decorative design, or draw inspiration from Berber tradition for the modern medium of the web. However, those sites with users who share the Berber cultural background have the rich heritage of decorative arts as their own to develop.