The inaugural Africa Design Award
prize ceremony was held on the 25th May in Libreville, Gabon, as part of the prestigious New York Forum Africa
2014 event. Founded by award-winning Moroccan creator, designer and architect Hicham Lahlou
, the Africa Design Award is a visionary initiative to celebrate and fly the flag for contemporary design and innovation across the Continent in all its forms.
The ceremony saw some of the Africa’s leading, and emerging designers and creative organisations scoop top honours, with the overall prize going to Design Network Africa
(DNA), in recognition of the work the South African based organisation does in facilitating the development of contemporary design in Africa, and fostering collaboration amongst designers to create new solutions. DNA members, Cheick Diallo, Mohamed Ouattara, Babacar Niang M’Bodj; along with Maria Haralambidou of People of the Sun
; web developer and designer, Jeff Maina; and Hicham Lahlou were amongst those honoured.
[Image credit: left, Lamp – Hicham Lahlou;
Chairs centre, Cheick Diallo and right Babacar Niang M’Bodj both at Graphic Africa 2013 –
The aim is for one African country to be honoured each year by hosting the Africa Design Award prize ceremony. So if looking to apply in the future, the Award is open to all who are involved in design in one form or another; including designers, artisans, architects, design agencies, local authorities, and associations to name a few. Entry guidelines on the website indicate that participants are required to have “created and developed design concepts in any field, that have a direct or indirect link with the African continent. All submitted concepts or existing projects must embody ‘a certain vision of Africa in its desire to move ahead, through the material consistency of the project or in the approach that it represents’”.
[Image credits: top, Cone Basket – People of the Sun;
bottom, Hamed Design at Graphic Africa 2013 – Atelier Fifty-Five]
The full list of winners is as follows:
First Prizewinner: Design Network Africa (DNA)/ South Africa
Followed by Jeff Maina (Kenya) / Mohamed Sekou Ouattara (Burkina Faso) / Maria Haralambidou (Malawi)
Young Talent Prizewinner: Sofia Bennani and Alexandra Singer-Biederman (Morocco-France)
Followed by Houda Rahmani (Morocco) / Karima Elkhider (Morocco)
Coup de Coeur Prizewinner: Maria Haralambidou (Malawi)
Followed by Babacar Niang M’Bodj (Senegal) / Cedric Nzolo (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Tribute Prizewinner: Hicham Lahlou (Morocco)
Followed by Cheick Diallo (Mali) / Memia Taktak (Tunisia)