Africa.Now – Exploring Africa’s Creative Community With Design Indaba

 

Having spent the last seven years bringing you some of the names, designs, and services that have shaped the emergence and development of the creative industries across Africa one cannot help but be inspired by the energy surrounding what is happening; that feeling that anything is possible. Something that can at times be hard to articulate in a post when experiencing it in person can be so much more impactful. And this is the premise of Design Indaba’s Africa.Now initiative and video series, which brings you closer to the action through on-screen interviews with those who are an active part of shaping the story, and at the same time giving you a window into what is happening on the ground through the video’s electric montage of music events, fashion shows, street festivals workshops and more.

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Africa By Design Inaugural Exhibition Launches In Ghana

AFRICA BY DESIGN Bob_Grandy_Ghana_Kente Textile Master Weaver

 

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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Modern African Furniture Design At Dubai Design Week

Modern African Furniture Design, African Furniture Designer Jomo Tariku
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 back rest with artistic carvings in the front and back. The idea behind Jomo’s design is to allow people to use a similar design of back rests 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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Design Week Addis Ababa Showcasing Ethiopian Contemporary Design

DWAA Event Poster

Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA) is the latest edition to Africa’s wider creative calendar. The annual event launches this weekend – 12-13 December –  at the Mosaic Hotel near Bole Medhanealem, Addis Ababa. DWAA is the initiative of creative director Metasebia Yoseph who seeks to shine the spotlight on Ethiopia’s contemporary creative talent, from technology, fashion and textiles, food and gastronomy, architecture, industrial design, interiors, graphic design, and art.
[Main image credits: Design Week Addis Ababa]
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Hand Woven Lighting Inspired By Traditional Ethiopian Basket Weaving

PET Lamps - Abyssinia Single Lamps

The Abyssinia Lamp is a collection of colourful handwoven lighting inspired by the techniques and visual languages of traditional Ethiopian basket weaving. The collection was designed and produced by PET Lamp in a joint venture with local craft workshop and retailer, Salem’s Ethiopia. Produced by highly skilled artisans in Addis Abba the main feature of the lighting collection are the striking woven lampshades, which draw on a diverse range of local cultural patterns, infused with bold colour palettes rendered in heavy, durable materials.
[Main image credit: Abyssinia Single Lamps – PET Lamp]
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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 range of trims and adornments made from materials such as Ostrich eggshells, Nguni cow horn, recycled glass beads and Zulu woven beaded ornaments are also available to further enhance the look of the Surilight.
[Main image credit: Brass Surilght]
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Take A Trip To Bolé Road Modern African Textiles

Bolé Road Textiles - Konso Pillow collections

Over the years of writing my blog I have been privileged to have been given a glimpse into some amazing design brands at the pre-start-up stage; when the brands in question were just concepts taking their first steps into the rewards and challenges of the design journey. And, then seeing them now and just how far they have come is testament to the creativity, passion and dedication in seeing their vision through from dream to reality. That is why I am so pleased to finally be able to introduce you to Bolé Road Textiles, an exciting collection of  modern African textiles made in Ethiopia,which officially launches this Friday, 8th May at BKLYN Designs in Brooklyn, New York City.
[Main image credit: from top left; Indigenous Blooms – Bolé Road Textiles]
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Keteme Monochrome African Home Decor Accessories

Keteme is a lifestyle brand offering modern African home decor accessories.  The collections see inspirational of one-of-a-kind designs handcrafted in Africa, namely Ethiopia. Keteme exudes soothing understated elegance, and reveres the exclusivity that comes with handmade luxury. Keteme, meaning ‘urban dweller’ in Ahmaric, draws inspiration from Africa’s rising cities, exploring the ever-evolving notion of contemporary urban living. The company is a celebration of a continent on the rise and through its thoughtfully sourced and designed collection of African home decor accessories seeks to take its audience on a journey of transforming their living spaces with beautiful products conceived and made in Africa.
[Main image credit: Cushions and Textile Collections – Keteme]
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ZAAF Luxury African Leather Handbags, Exquisite Craftsmanship

[Image credit: Wanza Purse – ZAAF]
I was recently introduced to ZAAF® a collection of beautifully crafted African leather handbags and lifestyle accessories made in Ethiopia. ZAAF was launched just over a year ago by Ethiopian-born, American raised Abai Schulze. As ZAAF’s creative director Abie draws on her multi-cultural upbringing and her Ethiopian heritage, celebrating the local culture and traditions and craftsmanship, reinterpreting them into luxuriously fresh modern designs.
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Graphic Africa Celebrating Contemporary African Design

Heralded as being the first exhibition of its kind in London, September 14th saw the opening of Graphic Africa a thought-provoking showcase and insight into the emergence of innovative diverse contemporary African design aesthetics and all round creativity currently sweeping across the Continent. Highlighting that contemporary African design is offering something different and fresh to the international design market, the exhibition has generated something of a media buzz, and the impact of the exhibition not only for visitors but the designers themselves has been good to see.
 [Image credit: Dokter and Misses Kassena Server taken by Tapiwa]
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