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Design Inspired by the Decorative Forms Of Adinkra Symbols

As I highlighted in a previous editorial on Adinkra symbols are a much-referenced communication system that has endured to present day. The Adinkra symbols designs carry within them centuries of wisdom and are among one of the African continent’s oldest writing systems. The symbols have inspired designers and artists the world over who have drawn on the distinctive graphic shapes to create anything from jewellery to patterned textiles. I introduce 5 contemporary African brands referencing the Adinkra symbols in their designs, and in doing so giving them relevance in a modern day and age.

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Tribal Textiles Zambia x PATTERNITY A Modern Approach To The Traditional Batik Fabric Technique

PATTERNITY is a London design and research studio that was founded on a love of pattern, how patterns are all around us in everyday life and sharing that with the world. The studio brings ideas, people and perspectives together. The studio has collaborated with Zambian textile company Tribal Textiles, who invited founders to visit their studio in Zambian to create a handmade homewares collection based on the company’s batik fabric technique.

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Seven Inspiring Modern African Design Collaborations

Collaboration is a powerful thing, the meeting of ideas to create new ones and at times offering up unexpected viewpoints. Collaboration offers those involved a chance to learn, pick up new skills and show off each other’s skills at their best. And in this spirit I have rounded up seven inspiring modern African design collaborations that have come together over the years:

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String Pendant Lamps Inspired by Traditional African Jewellery

Jewellery is one of my great loves, and was the main reason I started this blog. I wanted to use the space as a place to store my finds. So I couldn’t help but be instinctively drawn to a collection of string pendant lamps by South African product designer Candice Lawrence. Inspired by the beaded layers of traditional African jewellery, the African Woven Necklace Lamp Shade features three interconnected circular hoops each punctuated with colourful bands of hand wrapped thread.

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Architect Mariam Kamara Giving Niger Identity And Pride Through Architecture

Once a dream and a strong sense of purpose takes hold of you it rarely let’s go as architect Mariam Kamara knows all too well. Becoming an architect improving the spaces in which the people of Niger (her home country) lived was dream Mariam had as a child. Facing opposition from well-meaning family, as an adult, Mariam ended up studying software engineering and spent seven years working for big companies and start-ups. Yet the dream to make a difference remained. Finally embracing it she returned to university to study architecture. Having already been down the route of working for others […]

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