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Salone del Mobile, the prestigious Italian furniture fair opens its doors today offering visitors the very best in international furniture design concepts. Salone del Mobile is also home to SaloneSatellite an event that spotlights promising young designers under 35 by giving them a platform to connect with manufacturers, buyers and talent scouts. Noted for launching the careers of designers such as Oki Sato of Nendo, this year’s SaloneSatellite theme is Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente and as such is presenting a group of designers representing both regions. Among those representing African design is Jomo Tariku, founder of Jomo Furniture who is unveiling a new design, The Nyala chair, which is inspired by the graceful curves of antelope horns; and alongside him Lani Adeoye founder of Studio Lani whose furniture is based on organic forms; and luxury lighting by textile design brand AMWA in collaboration with The Bespoke Boutique. Industrial designer Ifeanyi Oganwu who specializes in combining craft with engineering has previously participated in SaloneSatellite.

Ifeany Oganwu Blue Splice Nigerian-Furniture Design African Design


Moroccan/French designer Hicham Lahlou a leading figure in promoting contemporary African design is the curator of the Africa section. He is the founder of the Africa Design Award, an annual award that recognises designers from across the African continent. The Latin America section is curated by the legendary Campana Brothers, Fernando, and Humberto, whose creative practice includes the social rehabilitation of marginalised people. The designers taking part in SaloneSatellite have been tasked with exploring the relationship between heritage and the contemporary scene melding craftsmanship with new technologies.


SaloneSatellite 2018 Africa Latin America Salone Del Mobile African Design, Hicham Lahlou, Campana Brothers


SaloneSatellite was founded in 2010 by curator Marva Griffin Wilshire who is a mentor of young design talent. Another feature of the event is the SalonSatellite Award which awards a cash prize to the 3 best projects as selected by an international jury of leading industry players.

Salone del Mobile and SaloneSatellite run from 17-22 April 2018.


– Tapiwa Matsinde


Additional Details:

For further information about Africa and Latin America at SaloneSatellite visit:

For further information about Salone del Mobile visit:


[Image credits: The images shown belong to from top, Jomo Furniture; Ifeanyi Oganwu/Expand Design; SaloneSatellite. 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