African design and artisanship is something I am very passionate about, and it is wonderful to see it making great strides both locally on the African continent and internationally. Not too long ago in the West, the terms artisan or craft were seen as inferior, often dismissed as being the poor cousin of the much more feted and glamorous title of designer. But how times have changed, with the word artisan now a buzz word applied to everything from factory assembled furniture collections to processed food. The processes of which, a contradiction to the true meaning of artisanship, which typically refers to products made in small quantities using traditional methods and often made by hand. This indiscriminate application has led some to question whether artisan as a term is now losing its authenticity.
On the African continent, however, the true meaning of artisanship continues to be upheld, through an authentic way of producing that is deeply rooted in a world-renowned heritage of exceptional hand craft skills from woodcarving to beading. And where for most working in the sector the role of the designer and the artisan is often intertwined.
Leading African Design brands such as Dounia Home, Adele Dejak, Saba Studio, DÅ by Afrominima, and Tongoro whose visionary founders are part of a growing dynamic generation of designers and makers committed to
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Many of Africa’s designers either living on the continent or based outside of it are united in a commitment to making their products in Africa in partnership with skilled craftsmen and women in their local communities and regions. Their commitment is contributing to the development of Africa’s growing design industries. And by doing so these designers are upholding the banner of Well Made In Africa. For more on Well Made In Africa read 9 Designers Creating A Well Made in A
Tapiwa[Image credits: The image shown belongs to Tapiwa