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Sir David Adjaye has been announced as the overall winner of Beazley Design of the Year 2017, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington designed in collaboration with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Now in its tenth year Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual award and exhibition of the very best in international design held by The Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design and architecture; and sponsored by specialty insurers Beazley. 

Notable mentions include: 

Serpentine Pavilion designer, architect Francis Kéré who was nominated for his Lycée Schorge Secondary School, in Burkina Faso. Built from locally sourced materials, in keeping with the ethos of Francis Kere’s practice, the establishing of school is to set a new standard for educational excellence in the region.

Sound and installation artist, Emeka Ogboh for Sufferhead Original Stout. A craft beer inspired by the experiences of African immigrants living in Europe, that has found success in Germany. The beer gets its name from Fela Kuti’s 1981 track of the same name, the lyrics of which reference politics and economics, some of the issues Emeka is tackling with the beer and the packaging. I have mentioned Emeka’s work previously in a feature on textile artist Yemi Awoslie.


Emeka Ogboh Sufferhead Original Stout Craft Beer


The Mahjouba Initiative, an electric moped created for the local market. Made using Moroccan craft techniques and materials, the moped is designed by artist Eric van Hove. 


The Design Museum London Beazley Designs Of The Year 2017 The Mahjouba Initiative Bicycle Morocco


Beazley Designs of the Year saw 62 nominations drawn from the six categories of Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product, and Transport. The nominees for each category are put forward by invited curators. The shortlist and winners  then selected by a jury comprising a distinguished group of designers, curators and creatives: David Rowan, Editor-at-large of WIRED’s UK edition; Ozwald Boateng OBE, fashion designer; Marcus Engman, Design Manager of IKEA Range and Supply; Margaret Calvert OBE, typographer and graphic designer; Amanda Levete, Founder and Principal of AL_A; Professor, Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, JLR; and Michael Tchao, VP Product Marketing at Apple Inc. 


– Tapiwa Matsinde


Additional details:

For more information about Beazley Designs Of The Year visit:

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[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from The Design Museum. 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. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive