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Atelier Fifty Five by Tapiwa Matsinde African design consultant Liz Riley Photography
Expanding the Reach of Great Design

Let’s work together to bring the work/design of talented designers, makers, and creatives from the continent to the attention of local and global audiences.

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Coming to Market

Awareness, knowledge, investment, and opportunity are key to sustaining the success of Africa’s design industries. 

As the industry grows, it continues to draw attention from a global audience keen to learn more about it. At the same time those within the industry – the designers, makers, and organisations – are finding themselves having to develop the necessary business skills required to meet a demanding global standard and gain the visibility that will propel and sustain their businesses in a highly competitive industry. 

Through a dedicated consultancy, I connect galleries, museums, retailers, collectors and other cultural organisations with designers, makers, and information, building awareness with research, articles, curation and speaking engagements. I also work with small to medium creative entrepreneurs in the areas of brand strategy and market research for successful and sustainable entrepreneurship. 

Find out more about these services below.

If you want to go fast, go alone,
if you want to go far, go together.

African proverb

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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
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  • 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