The Parapolis Project

Sustainability on Wheels

A joint project between German and Senegalese students,
designing the Abracadabra Food Truck together

What is the Parapolis Project?

If you’ve been following the story of Abracadabra from the beginning, you know that our dream has always been to serve our meals from a food truck. We love the idea of appearing all over Dakar — or Senegal! — and creating excitement, connection, and community around our moving restaurant.

That dream is alive and well. For the Parapolis Project, a group of architecture students from the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany, is working together with students from the Institute Polytechnique Panafricain, Dakar, to develop a design concept. The challenge: design an earth-friendly food truck that allows Abracadabra to serve as a community source of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Phase I: April 2017


The first phase of the project was concluded in April of 2017. From April 23 – 24, 14 students from Münster and X African students participated in a joint workshop on the topic of food trucks as pop-up architecture, sustainable design, and architecture and delving into Senegalese culture. A highlight of the workshop was a hands-on session on, well, mud, conducted by Shiel. The students produced draft sketches of sustainable food trucks with have modular parts to create pop-up architectural spaces on the streets of Dakar, or elsewhere in the country!

Study Tour

The German students and professors, along with eight Senegalese students and their professor, then went on a study tour to Ndem, Touba, Ngaparou and Toubab Dialaw. Working with our partners like Maam Samba and Sobo Bade, the group visited places and people of interest in the world of sustainable architecture. Along the way, Senegalese history and values were explored – along with Senegalese cuisine! Though delving into Senegalese culture is not only for the “toubabs” – but includes immersion experiences that will be new even for the Senegalese students!

Along for the Ride

After the conclusion of the workshop and study trip, this milestone was celebrated with an exposition and reception hosted by the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung Dakar. With photos and designs illustrating the project and the growth of Abracadabra, guests could immerse themselves in the network of Abracadabra’s partners and the concept of creating community around food — and of course, there was a buffet!

What happens next?

The two groups of students will continue to collaborate on concepts for the truck. On 30 June 2017, the Münster students will present their concepts before a jury of professors and the founders of Abracadabra. The winning concept will then go on to seek funding for the execution of the project. Provided they can find funding, the Münster students will return to Dakar in late summer and, together with their Senegalese counterparts, build the Abracadabra Food Truck.


Stay up to date

Jürgen Fauth documented the workshop and study trip in photos.  His pictures, together with sketches and concepts developed by the students, will be part of an exhibition on the project later this year. We’ll also update this website with photos from the trip, so check back here and make sure to “like” us and our partners and follow hashtag #parapolisprototype on social media.


Djeuredjeuf — Thank you so much!

The Parapolis Project is supported by a generous grant from the German embassy, Dakar, and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit.


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