IFA Pure Gold Upcycled! Upgraded! Exhibition Exploring Sustainable Design

Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman H++, Chair and table set at IFA Pure Gold Exhibition

 

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]

 

 

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Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair Presents The 2017 Well Made In Africa Exhibitors

Tongoro Made In Africa - Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

 

Earlier this year, I was honoured to have been appointed the guest curator for the prestigious Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase. 2017 introduces a new, exquisite selection of Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent under the curatorship of Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa. Tapiwa presents a selection that is anchored in heritage & modernity. This year Sanlam HmC will host the work of a dynamic group of designers who have been chosen for their innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages to create modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And with the October opening fast approaching I am delighted to share with you the details and introduce the amazing designers and artisanal talent I selected, as follows

 

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Mashirbirya Patterns Inspire Furniture Made In Kenya

Moran Munyuthe Mashirbirya chair Made In Kenya

 

Centuries old Mashirbirya patterns have inspired a contemporary collection of limited edition furniture made on Kenya’s, Lamu Island. Architect, Moran Munyuthe who lives and works in Lamu, designed the collection called The Mashirbirya Collection, which comprises a table and chair. Mashirbirya patterns are seen in Arabic-Bantu architecture, usually part of a wooden lattice screen that is used to shade the interior of buildings and decorate the exterior. Mashirbirya patterns are intricate, the style reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Lamu and how culture of the Arab traders to Africa’s East coast where assimilated into the local Bantu culture.

 

 

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Le BHV Marais Paris Celebrates South African Art and Design

South Africa x Le BVH Marais

 

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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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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Eva Sonaike Tips On Decorating With African Textiles

 

African textiles offer a fascinating array of colours, patterns and textures that can instantly transform an interior. But with so much on offer it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start especially for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the fabrics. So to help you get started we caught up with London based textile and interior furnishings designer, Eva Sonaike for her tips on decorating with African textiles. And here is what she had to say…

It is 2017 and I can proudly say that ‘Africa is the New Black’! We launched our new FALOMO RISE Collection at Maison & Objet in Paris earlier this year, the feedback from press and buyers has been great and I was pleasantly surprised to see such a strong and diverse presence of the African aesthetic in the world of design, across many disciplines. Even better, I read an article in a German newspaper, that talked about Ikea’s collaboration with designers from across the African content to develop a new ‘Africa’ collection that will launch in 2019! So I assume you agree with me when I say ‘Africa IS the new black’.

But how do you incorporate African textiles in your home without achieving an over-ethnicized or stereotypical look?

 

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Interview With South African Furniture and Interior Designer Siyanda Mbele

Siyanda Mbele South African Furniture and Interior Design

 

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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4 Ways To Incorporate African Style Into Modern Interiors

 

As the seasons change thoughts often turn to a new look or refreshing an existing one. To help you on your way we turned to Thandi Mbali Renaldi, founder of stylish online interiors boutique Kudu for some tips on how to incorporate African Style into modern interiors…

With winter soon drawing to a close here in Europe I am really starting to enjoy the lunchtime spring sunshine that steams through my kitchen window. My thoughts turn to how to refresh our interior in preparation for the change of season. It is time to move things around a little. This will include removing and cleaning the lovingly-curated items from all over the African continent that are dotted around the house on shelves and displayed on walls; ostrich eggs, Zulu beer gourds, vintage watercolours, to name but a few. Anyone walking into our house will not fail to notice the reminders of the African continent that sit alongside its 19th century Belgian architecture. When I look at our house however, I sometimes ask myself: is our home a reflection of an ‘African style’? Does such a thing exist? I do not profess to have either invented it, or be an ‘expert’ in defining it. The African continent is a marvellous source of creative inspiration for my particular interior style. In my case, it reflects some of who I am but you do not need to have travelled to or be from Africa to use African elements in your interior space.

A question I am often asked is: how to integrate African style into a modern interior? If you feel overwhelmed about where to begin here are a few points to remember.

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Graham and Green Chic African Print and Velvet Cocktail Chairs

 

Currently crushing on these gorgeous Cocktail chairs from UK retailer Graham and Green. The chairs are upholstered in the front with sumptuous jewel-toned velvets in yellow and teal, and each colour way paired with a complementary intricately patterned African print wax textile to the back. The result is classic design with modern appeal. Cocktail chairs are a 1950s mid-century design classic, sought after for their simple yet chic silhouettes. The chairs make great accent pieces in living spaces, and these will be ideal for those looking to incorporate some Afro chic interior inspiration.

[Image credit: Alpana Velvet Chair – Graham and Green ]

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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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