Inspired by

A reverence for hand craftsmanship

“atelier 55 celebrates the outstanding makers and organisations based on the African continent and beyond, whose work ranges from recognisable heritage influences to abstract renderings, all capturing the sophistication, vitality, diversity, and soulfulness that is defining contemporary African design & craft.”

– Tapiwa Matsinde, Founder of atelier 55

About atelier 55

atelier 55 is a digital space created to curate, connect, and celebrate the designers, artisans, and organisations shaping contemporary African design, craft, creativity, and lifestyle. Launched in 2010 by author, storyteller, curator, and consultant Tapiwa Matsinde, atelier 55 exists to promote, research, curate, consult, and source in order to connect global audiences to the best in contemporary African design.

Our values seek to…


increased awareness of contemporary African style and design


knowledge and the diversity in culture, heritage and creativity


creatives to opportunities that provide inspiration and foster trade allowing people to make a sustainable living from their craft


…and change the negative stereotypes and perceptions of African design, craft, art and culture

Creating a new narrative

While conversations about art and design typically allude to the continent as a homogenous whole, Africa, in fact, comprises 55 recognised states, all of which contribute differently to the continent’s creatively rich, expressive, diverse, and thriving culture. From the makeshift to the state-of-the-art, under the shade of a leafy tree or in an urban studio, the ateliers of Africa are overflowing with ingenuity and creativity;

these are the places where ideas come to life.

“Power is gained by sharing knowledge not hoarding it.”

African Proverb