The stool is an African design classic, an iconic example of Africa’s woodcarving traditions. Its iconic shape has, and continues to inspire designers the world over who are drawn to the simplicity of the form. Stools were created for personal, and ceremonial use, whereby elaborately carved and decorated designs were used to signify status, wealth, and prestige. Here’s a look at four designers from across the continent who are taking inspiration from the traditional stool to create elegant furniture collections designed with comforts of modern living in mind.
Furniture brand Tekura draws inspiration from Ghana’s ancient cultures such as those of the legendary Ashanti and Fanti. Tekura reinterprets the local traditional crafts and forms to create innovate furniture collections. Their designs include giving contemporary makeovers to iconic symbols such the legendary Ashanti Stool and Headrest by streamlining and modernising the shapes, which are then adorned with carved patterns. Working with highly-skilled local artisans Tekura’s designs are handcrafted from carefully select pieces of reclaimed wood.
Furniture and product designer Jomo Tariku, founder of Jomo Furniture is on a mission to convince the furniture world that African designs deserve a place in the mainstream furniture market. Jomo draws from African cultures to inspire his furniture designs and seeks to modernises the traditional forms to give them a place in modern society in a dual role as functional and decorative household items.
Based in Senegal Dioumpapa introduces a new brand of African design. One which combines traditional furniture with a contemporary, sophisticated style and handcrafted crafted with beautiful woods sourced from across the African continent. With his designs Dioumpapa wants to add to Africa’s long woodcarving heritage, continuing the legacy. His designs also serve as a platform for promoting the handicraft skills of the Senegalese craftsmen he works with.
Wiid Design in South Africa has turned to organic and recyclable Portuguese cork to create a line of durable user and environmentally friendly stools. Drawing inspiration from a range of sources including conceptual and artistic environments and contemporary cultures Wiid Design has a particular focus on combining traditional handcrafting with modern avant-garde techniques.
Used as seating, side tables or for decoration stools a popular piece of furniture in living spaces are the enduring classic of African design.