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IFA Pure Gold Upcycled! Upgraded! Exhibition Exploring Sustainable Design

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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Africa By Design Inaugural Exhibition Launches In Ghana

  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 – […]

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Engaging Spaces And Developing Contemporary African Architecture

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a pioneering German-based architect, whose work seeks to bring together the best of African and European architectural methods. Born and raised in Burkina Faso, upon completing school the architect was awarded a scholarship to Germany where he initially studied as a supervisor in the context of development aid. After a period of apprenticeship Diébédo Francis then went on to study architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin, before founding his practice, Kéré Architecture. Having also founded a not-for-profit organisation, Schulbausteine für Gando, loosely translated as ‘Bricks for Gando’, upon graduation Diébédo Francis returned home to Gando, the village he was […]

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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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L’Occitane African Shea Butter Marks International Women’s Day

First observed in the early 1900s, Women’s Day has grown into a day of appreciation; inspiring women, celebrating their achievements and acknowledging the challenges still to be overcome. The Day sees a diverse range of events being held across the globe and in some countries today has become a tradition taken as a holiday, which sees men taking the time to honour their Mother’s, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with symbolic gifts. In celebration of the Day, French skin care care company L’Occitaine has created a special limited edition African Shea butter bar of soap produced in Burkina Faso in partnership with a […]

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L’Occitane Packaging Inspired By West African Print Textiles

Escaping the crowds on Regent Street I ducked into L’Occitane in search of a few moments of respite. When it’s comes to tourist attractions London’s Regent Street is notoriously congested. I have been spending quite bit of the time in the area due to a current assignment and most lunchtimes have literally found myself doing battle as I try to make my way along… frustration is not the word, but in an attempt to avoid the crowds have found myself wandering off the beaten track, discovering some quiet oases in the process. One day however I wasn’t quite as lucky and got […]

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Snob Unique African Furniture and Interior Accessories

I stumbled upon the Green Tea Design’s blog arriving on a page that displayed some stunning bulbous Egyptian pendant lights adorned with intricate patterns, and followed the link through to Toronto based interiors boutique, Snob who have a whole range of gorgeous unique African furniture and interior accessories to covet. Sourced from across the African continent Snob’s products are personally selected by owner Denise Zidel who brings away with her the story each craftsman and designer has to tell in the form of a beautifully crafted object. The philosophy of Snob is to convey one of life’s simple pleasures; the one that comes from being […]

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Hamed Ouattara Fashioning Contemporary Furniture from Discarded Metals

[Image credit: Dogon Chair – Hamed Ouattara] The contemporary art market in Burkina Faso is relatively young and needs nurturing by those who are becoming successful in the field be it, creator or buyer. One such creator doing just that is Hamed Ouattara. The innovative fine artist and furniture designer from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso set up Hamed Design International in 2008 with the intention of promoting visual art from Burkina Faso to an international audience. ‘I create an African design which is consumed by Africans’, a statement that highlights his desire to help people gain a sense of pride in what has […]

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