The Curator of Contemporary African Design

atelier 55 - The Curator of Contemporary African Design

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MADE51, Design-Led Craft for Social Impact

MADE51 is a pioneering initiative that brings together designers with refugees to create and craft products for a global market. Conceived by UNHCR MADE51 is part of the agency’s activities to protect and save lives. Finding themselves in a foreign country craft has become a way of restoring dignity to refugees. Craft helps those who have been displaced to hold onto their culture, giving them a sense of purpose and stability, and to earn an income as they begin the process of rebuilding their shattered lives. Working with some of Africa’s leading design brands such as A A K S, […]

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Weaving Art Objects Promotes High-Quality Made in Senegal Design and Craftsmanship

Throughout her distinguished career, textile designer Aissa Dione has worked to uphold Made in Senegal, by taking traditional know-how and adapting and modernising it to meet global standards. This philosophy extends to designing furniture and objects made in her Dakar workshop in partnership with local artisans. In early 2020 Aissa opened the doors to Weaving Art Objects (WAO), a concept store dedicated to retailing high-quality furniture and interior accessories that continue to showcase the best in local production techniques and creativity.

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Dreamers and Travellers, Macrame Handbags by Vanhu Vamwe

When I interviewed Dr Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, co-founder of Vanhu Vamwe, she hinted at new projects in the works. Fast-forward more than half a year later Pam has debuted a gorgeous collection of statement handbags, made in Zimbabwe. The collection entitled Dreamers and Travellers, celebrates and modernises local craft techniques, and is characterised by oversized silhouettes, accentuated with long fringe-like tassels, and big knotted details.

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