Le BHV Marais Paris Celebrates South African Art and Design

 

Paris is having a love affair with all things contemporary Africa design, fashion, culture, and lifestyle. First is was Africa as the guest of honour at the Paris Art Fair held in March/April, then Africa Now at the Galeries Lafayette shopping destination, and now the iconic department store Le BHV Marais in the heart of the historic and trendy Marais district, which dedicates almost two months to celebrating contemporary South African art and design and culture.

 

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Remembering Kossi Aguessy, A Visionary Designer and Artist

 

It is with great shock and sadness that I learned about the death of the designer and artist Kossi Aguessy on 17th April 2017 on what was his 40th birthday. Having first discovered and featured his work on the website in 2011, I later had the privilege of interviewing him for a Design Indaba profile. The exchange was both fascinating and insightful as he shared his hopes and visions for future projects.

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PPC Imaginarium Awards Supporting South African Art and Design

The PPC Imaginarium Awards is an ambitious South African art and design competition aimed at providing emerging artists and designers with the opportunity to showcase their talents through the medium of concrete. Launched several years ago as a project of the innovation department of South African cement production company, PPC Ltd, the awards have since grown in stature with this years Awards attracting 869 registered entries, from which 55 finalists have been chosen. The PPC Imaginarium Awards features five categories: Film, Industrial Design, Sculpture, Fashion and Jewellery all presenting an array of exciting and imaginative works that demonstrate the versatility and unexpected beauty of concrete. An overall winner will be chosen, along with category winners and runner-ups on May 18th 2017.

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Africa By Design Inaugural Exhibition Launches In Ghana

 

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]

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Interview With South African Furniture and Interior Designer Siyanda Mbele

 

Siyanda Mbele is a rising star in the contemporary South African furniture and product design industry. His streamlined and stylish designs regularly reference his Zulu heritage. We caught up with the designer to find out a bit more about his inspirations and the importance of culture to design:

 

1. What led you to furniture design, how long have you been working in the industry, and what do you enjoy most about your job?

I have always been interested in created objects. At first, I was obsessed with drawing/ designing cars. Gradually I started loving furniture specifically tables, this was back in 2009. After finishing my first year in University, I knew for sure that I want to pursue furniture design. I have been in the industry since 2013, never had a full-time job, and always been part-time. I enjoy designing and seeing the final product, and what happens in-between that is normally crazy.

 

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Jomo Tariku’s Modern African Furniture Design At Dubai Design Week

Dubai Design Week opens today and among the many events and works being showcased is The Birth Chair II, modern African furniture design by Ethiopian/American furniture designer, Jomo Tariku. The Birth Chair II is inspired by African birthing chairs which are still being used in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and are also being incorporated in mainstream design as decorative pieces. The Birth Chair II is crafted from a single bent piece with clean lines for the seat and a sliding backrest with artistic carvings in the front and back. The idea behind Jomo’s design is to allow people to use a similar design of backrests as a theme or different variations as a set. The interchangeable functionality of the backrest provides the user to be creative in decorating a room of their choice. The Birth Chair II is a trendsetting idea that Jomo hopes to use as a platform for his dream of bringing modern African furniture design to the mainstream design world.
[Main image credit: Birth Chair II – Jomo Design]
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Ifeanyi Oganwu Furniture Design For Toghal African Inspired Textiles

 

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.

 

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Mimi Plange For Roche Bobois Classic West African Design Inspiration

 

Fashion designer Mimi Plange has collaborated with high-end French furniture design company Roche Bobois on a limited edition furniture collection upholstered in Mimi Plange textile designs that references her West African design cultural and heritage. The Roche Bobois collection is centred around one of the furniture house’s iconic furniture pieces, the modular Mah Jong Sofa that was designed in 1971 by German artist Hans Hopfer, and has since been dressed by some of the biggest names in fashion from the late Sonia Rykiel to Jean-Paul Gaultier. The collaboration features several Mimi Plange textile designs each incorporating a different theme from vintage florals to Kente Cloth to Ashanti Dolls to quilted feathers, the latter a signature of the Mimi Plange brand.

 

[Image credit: Mimi Plange x Roche Bobois Asante Doll Army Ice Blue]

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YSWARA Unveils A Tranquil Tearoom To Savour Precious African Teas

 

There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea, the stronger the better. Anytime is teatime as far as I am concerned, so you can only imagine what I think about those who take their tea as seriously as I do. Like YSWARA for instance, the luxury tea brand championing made in Africa, who are reviving the ceremony of ancient African tea drinking rituals with its offering of specially blended teas and accompanying accessories. And now you can immerse yourself fully in the YSWARA brand experience with the launch of their flagship tearoom and store in Johannesburg.

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