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Emerging South African designer Siyanda Mbele continues to challenge the perceptions of contemporary South African furniture design as he introduces his latest design, the Mvelo Desk. An exploration of modern working life the Mvelo Desk references the way people are seemingly ‘married’ to their careers, spending long periods sitting at their desks.
[Main image credit: Mvelo Desk by Siyanda Mbele – Michelle Reynolds]

Contemporary African furniture design - Mvelo Desk by Siyanda Mbele

Contemporary African Furniture Design - Mvelo Desk by Siyanda Mbele

 

What interested me the most in the Zulu symbols is when two symbols are joined together whether triangle or diamond they represent a union. I translated that union as people being married to their desks/ and careers. – Siyanda Mbele

The meaning behind the desk is underscored further by Mbele’s use of Zulu symbols and patterns as he introduces traditional influences into contemporary South African furniture design. The form of the desk represents both masculine (Triangle shape) and feminine (Diamond shape). When joined together these symbols represent a union, which Mbele then translated into the concept of people being married to their desks. Each of the symbols is incorporated into the function and form of the desk. The Triangle symbol forms multifunctional V shaped drawers pockets to slide down pens or pencils or paper, and when left open the drawers serve as markers allowing the user to leave books open at a certain page. The symbols are also etched into the surface. The desk is made from oak with charcoal monocoat and has a leather top insert and a nickel plaited aluminium base and is made to order.

Contemporary African Furniture Design - Mvelo Desk by Siyanda Mbele

[Image credit: Mvelo Desk by Siyanda Mbele, Details – Michelle Reynolds]

The Mvelo desk was part of Southern Guild’s A New Wave Exhibition, a group exhibition showcasing the work of the Cape Town gallery’s newest designers under the age of 40 who are ushering in an exciting new chapter of collectible contemporary South African design.

Additional Details:
For further information about Siyanda Mbele visit: www.facebook.com/pindabysiyandambele
[Image credits: All images belong to Siyanda Mbele, and are copyright the photographer where stated. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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