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Dotted around the lounge at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair was a collection of colourful, contemporary seating by product designer Ifeanyi Oganwu, African inspired textiles design brand Toghal and jewellery designer Artist Phoebe Boswell. Ifeanyi was approached by Dayo Forster, Toghal’s founder to create a seating structure on which to present their cylindrical bolster cushions.

 

 

The collaboration saw the production of forty plywood stools entitled Pedestal, that were each designed to elevate and present the graphic patterned cushion collection entitled Dunaike, which means rest. Ifeanyi was inspired by architectural arches seen everywhere in everyday life.  He used the shapes to create a double arch structure designed to hold two of the cylindrical roll cushions in place, and in the process uphold their functional purpose without being intrusive.

 

 

The cushions were made with textiles designed by Phoebe Boswell. The designs celebrate women, and the khanga cloth the popular East African textile, and comprise a black and white graphic base of figures highlighted with splashes of bright colour all digitally printed onto cotton fabric.

 

 

The limited edition furniture and African inspired textiles collection formed part of 1:54’s Special Projects programme.

 

Additional details:

For further information about the collaboration visit: http://1-54.com

 

[Image credits: The top image shown belongs to Toghal, and the bottom two images sourced from 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
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Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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