Accessories brand Sahel began life in 2008 in the desert of Burkina Faso, where founder and former fashion editor Charlie Davies spent seven years living amongst the Fulani. Moving back to London Sahel became a vehicle for bringing high-end Burkinabe craft skills and products to international audiences.
Luxury artisanal accessory brand AAKS has launched a stunning home decor collection inspired by the theme Weaving for Change. The collection comprises five distinctive handcrafted lamps and light pendants, each created in partnership with women artisans from the Tuareg community in Northern Mali who are living as refugees in Burkina Faso. In working with this Tuareg community AAKS are helping to celebrate and preserve the community’s cultural identity and their time-honoured basket weaving traditions, a philosophy that has defined AAKS’s work with local communities in Ghana.
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.
Greetings from the city of Hamburg in Germany where I am attending the press conference and opening of Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded! a forward-thinking exhibition that explores rubbish, more specifically how found and waste materials are being used the world over to create objects of value, hence the title, Pure Gold. As one of the curators, I had the honour of selecting designers-makers to represent sub-Saharan Africa.
[Image credit: H++, Chair and table set, 2011; Water hyacinth, metal, yarn, wood chair – Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman]
The Summer Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London has become a seasonal design highlight designed by the likes of Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Herzog & de Meuron and the late Zaha Hadid. This year the Summer Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré, the architect from Burkina Faso who is known for his innovative thought-provoking, interactive and colourful installations. The Summer Pavilion is an open structure where visitors can sit, order food from the food cafe, as well as playing host to a programme of events throughout the summer season.
Exhibitions focusing on design from Africa continue to abound, with more countries outside the continent holding dedicated showcases. Whilst this is great to see, it is also important that the African continent also hold its own showcases to highlight the growing value of design to local audiences. One such initiative is Africa by Design in Ghana, which launched its inaugural self-titled exhibition presenting the work of 22 emerging and established African designers representing 6 countries from sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.
[Main Image credit: Master Kente and Ewe Weaver, Bob Gandy – Africa by Design]