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SafariFusion Modern African Interior Decor Accessories

Loving Safari Fusion’s beautifully styled 2015-16 Lookbook of modern African interior decor accessories and African baskets collection entitled, Woven & Stitched. The colourful, unique and functional collection presents the best in contemporary basketry made in Africa. Woven & Stitched is inspired by African basket weavers, and has brought together a range of grass and fibre baskets that showcase the way classical techniques and ancient traditions have been rejuvenated through the use of modern colour palettes and forms.

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Contemporary Design Africa Book Launch And Designer Showcase Event

Contemporary Design Africa will be launched at a special event at The Jungle in Johannesburg, South starting this Thursday. If you happen to be in Johannesburg between the 9th -25th July, pop along to the concept store, where in addition to celebrating the book, The Jungle will also be showcasing and selling the work of select designers featured within the book’s pages. A great opportunity to see some of the designs first hand. [Image featured, Chair by Nulangee Design courtesy David Crookes for Design Network Africa]  

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Otago Chandeliers Inspired by Dinka Corsets for Nandos

The intricate corsets worn by the Dinka of South Sudan are the inspiration for a bespoke range of African design lighting for a Nandos restaurant in Harrogate, UK. Worn by men, the bright colour coded Dinka corset indicates age, status and wealth within the community, whilst women wear a colourful beaded shawl type collar that also indicates age, status and wealth, read a previous feature I did on the corsets here. The lighting designs were based on the colour and the drape of the beaded strands, resulting in a collection of strikingly sophisticated yet fun lighting in keeping with Nandos’ quirky […]

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Ancient Tunisian Handicraft Meets Contemporary Swedish Design

The rich colours and detailed patterns of traditional Tunisian handicraft and artistry are blended harmoniously with the clean, minimal aesthetic synonymous with Scandinavian design, to create modern home decor and textiles collections by House of Rym. [Main image credit: Cover Me Up Cushion Cover in Heavenly Honeycomb in Rose – House of Rym]

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Suri Tribe of Ethiopia Inspire African Home Decor Lighting

  The Surilight is a cascading chandelier that showcases modern African home decor. The Surilight is inspired by classical African craft and adornment, in particular paying homage to the decorative earlobe discs worn by the women of the Suri Tribe in Ethiopia. Choosing from four silhouette frames as a base, the Surilight is a self-assembly system based on a series of interlocking circles and other optional components that allow you to configure and customise the chandelier to suit your style. The components are available in a range of finishes that include, metallics, acrylics and coated steel. In addition to this a […]

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Africa Day And Modern African Design – Contemporary Design Africa Launch

To day is Africa Day, cited as a day to celebrate the continent’s achievements and to reflect on the challenges faced. So, rather fittingly today is also the day Contemporary Design Africa, a book about modern African design is officially published in the UK, celebrating the achievements of contemporary designers emerging from the continent; and here are some of the exceptional designs featured within its pages. [Main image credit: Centro de Artes Africana, Wooden Vessels – courtesy Deborah Mason for Aid to Artisans]

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Silversmith Ndidi Nkubia at London Craft Week 2015

Since I started my blogging journey I have come to appreciate the true and lasting value that exceptional craftsmanship brings to design. Craftsmanship is a hallmark of the world’s leading heritage and couture brands and in upholding this view, today sees the start of London Craft Week 2015, an inaugural five-day event whose ethos is ‘Putting craftsmanship centre stage of the world’s creative capital’. London Craft Week celebrates the best luxury brands and artisans from the UK and the around the world who will be: opening the doors of their studios; exhibiting their work in iconic venues that include Fortnum […]

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Sneak Peek Of Modern African Design In Contemporary Design Africa

Woo hoo, just received advance printed copies of my forthcoming book Contemporary Design Africa! Nervous anticipation kicked in so it took me a while to get round to opening the package, but when I eventually plucked up the courage I can’t describe how it felt to finally hold in my hands and see months of hard work come together and revealed in the finished product. African design is truly amazing!

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South African Furniture Design Inspired By Ndebele Patterns

The colourful, geometric patterns used by the Ndebele of South African are given a refreshing, contemporary update by South African furniture designer, Siyanda Mbele. The patterns have provided the inspiration for an innovative range of furniture entitled, Nandini. The collection comprises compact, multi-functional side tables that can also be stacked to form shelving units. [Image credit: Pinda and Nandini Stacked Side Tables – Siyanda Mbele]

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Farewell to Contemporary African Furniture Designer Babacar Niang

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned an exhibition opening on the 24th March in New York that would feature the work of Senegalese furniture designer Babacar Niang, amongst others. It is therefore with great sadness and shock that I just learnt of Babacar’s passing on the 25th March 2015. The contemporary African furniture designer, working through his studio Nulangee, possessed a unique design vision that brought forth sublime designs infused with his trademark lifelike qualities. A great talent, Babacar’s passing leaves a void in Africa’s burgeoning design industry, one that will be keenly felt. May you rest in peace […]

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Kassena Town Modern African Furniture Design At Grains Of Paradise

Tomorrow sees the opening of Grains of Paradise, an exhibition of contemporary African design from four of Africa’s leading design studios; Ardmore, Babacar Niang, Dokter and Misses and Porky Hefer. The exhibition is presented by New York’s foremost design gallery, R & Company in collaboration with Southern Guild. Especially created for the exhibition, South African furniture and product designers Dokter and Misses have expanded on their sought after Kassena Server design to encompass a visually arresting mini village of cabinets. With names like ‘Home’, ‘Watchtower’, ‘Horseman’ and ‘Sleep’ the collection pays homage to the architecture of the Kassena people of Burkina […]

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Product Designer Kossi Aguessy Interview For Design Indaba

Kossi Aguessy is a multi-faceted creative who has collaborated with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca Cola and Stella McCartney. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kossi for the profile, Crossing Continents and Disciplines, which can be read on Design Indaba. [Main image credit: I-Doll Scultpure, The Earth- Kossi Aguessy]

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Imaginarium Awards Nurturing South Africa’s Emerging Creative Talent

The Imaginarium Awards, an ambitious modern art and design awards was launched by PPC Ltd with the aim of promoting and supporting South Africa’s emerging creative talent. The competition invited entries across six categories: film, industrial design, fashion, jewellery, architecture and sculpture. Winners of the inaugural event were announced in January 2015. [Main image credit: PPC Imaginarium Awards]

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Contemporary Design Africa Book Modern African Home Decor And Design

Back in September 2014 I hinted at some news I was looking forward to sharing a few months into the future; well that time has now come and I am so thrilled to finally be able to introduce my forthcoming first book on modern African home decor and design entitled- Contemporary Design Africa. Contemporary Design Africa will be published by Thames & Hudson in May 2015 in the UK, and in early June in the US. [Image credit: Contemporary Design Africa, Cover – Thames & Hudson]

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GUILD Design Fair Limited Edition Collectible South African Design

Following a successful debut in 2014, 25 February to 1 March 2015 sees the 2nd GUILD Design Fair in Cape Town. GUILD is the premier African-based international design fair that brings together the work of leading African and international designers, and was conceived by Southern Guild, a South African-based platform that showcases the very best in collectible South African design talent. [Image credit: GUILD Design Fair, Artisan by Watershed – Southern Guild]

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Making Africa A Continent of Contemporary African Design

This spring the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, will be holding a major exhibition showcasing the diverse expressions of contemporary African design emerging from the continent. Entitled Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, the work on display will encompass a range of diverse creative disciplines such as fine arts, graphic design, illustration, film, photography, architecture and urban planning. [Main image credit: The Guy with Style, Mário Macilau – Vitra Design Museum]

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Kubaka A Luxury Collection Of Furniture Made In Africa

George Pericles is an innovative creative think tank operating between Paris and Kigali. In 2013 the company developed Kubaba, a contemporary collection of furniture made in Africa, inspired by Rwanda that works towards developing a local luxury vocabulary. [Image credit:  George Pericles] 

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Modern Islamic and North African Interior Design Inspiration

Visiting 100% Design in early autumn I came across Mica, a gallery and interiors design company that specialises in modern Islamic and North African interior design and contemporary arts. Based in the UK Mica was founded in 2009 by Reedah El-Saie. At 100% Design, and also Decorex, Reedah launched Mica’s debut contemporary Islamic home interiors collection entitled ‘MICA Zen’. The collection is rooted in traditional Islamic art & architecture and centres on the point of infinity, embodying the principles of beauty and balance. Reedah sought to fuse Eastern holistic designs with Western creativity to create a stylish collection of Islamic and North African interior design […]

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Graphic Patterns for Striking South African Packaging Design

In keeping with the theme of geometric patterns, I came across these striking South African packaging designs on Creative Roots. The designs were developed by Graphic Design student, Brittany Albertson for a fictional South African wine packaging label called Wyn. Inspired by South Africa’s art and architecture, Brittany sought to blend South Africa’s diverse cultures. Wyn is the Afrikaans word for wine, and the designs reference local art such as the mesmerising geometric patterns employed by local peoples like the Ndebele. A refreshing contemporary colour palette helps reinforce the brand identity.

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Contemporary African Furniture Design Laduma Ngxokolo x Yinka Ilori

Last week’s Africa Utopia provided the opportunity to catch up with what was happening creatively in terms of design from and inspired by Africa. One design in particular that caught my attention was a chair comprising an upcycled frame in a matt silver finish, and knitted upholstery covered with striking geometric patterns, and a woven backrest also in matt silver. Radiating cool sophistication the piece of contemporary African furniture design was the result of a creative collaboration between British/Nigerian designer, Yinka Ilori and South African knitwear designer, Laduma Ngxokolo. The collaboration was commissioned by and formed part of the Africa Calling contemporary design […]

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • 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
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Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive