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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LA DiOSA Luxury Statement Jewellery for Modern Goddesses

LA DiOSA is a London-based luxury statement jewellery design company that seeks to empower women, by designing signature statement jewellery, featuring colourful chunky gemstones in celebration of modern Goddesses everywhere. LA DiOSA was founded in 2007 by Ugandan-born Natasha Faith, and Semhal Zemikael born to Ethiopian/Eritrean parents; friends who first met whilst studying Philosophy, and now create their gorgeous designs from a showroom in Hatton Garden, London’s famed jewellery quarter. A combined interest in fashion, led the duo to exploring the idea of creating and selling their own jewellery. The name’ La Diosa’, means ‘Goddess’ in Spanish and as the name of their company pays homage to the influences and place where it all began; Mexico.
[Image credit: Kezen Necklace – LA DiOSA]
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Marcus Samuelsson Ambessa Includes African Inspired Teas

Amharic for Lion, Ambessa is a new range of specialty teas created by top chef Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus embarked on creating the tea blends whilst writing his recently published memoirs; Yes, Chef. For the people of Ethiopia Ambessa represents pride, strength and independence; and for Marcus’ Ambessa also represents his travels, experiences and the everyday journeys that are a part of life. The range also includes a selection of African inspired teas.
[Image credit: Ambessa Teas – Marcus Samuelsson]
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