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Beazley Designs Of The Year 2017

  Sir David Adjaye has been announced as the overall winner of Beazley Design of the Year 2017, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington designed in collaboration with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Now in its tenth year Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual award and exhibition of the very best in international design held by The Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design and architecture; and sponsored by specialty insurers Beazley. 

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IFI Congress and African Design and Culture Festival Nigeria

  Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling dynamic capital plays host to the African Culture and Design Festival (ACDF), a four-day cultural extravaganza that is part of a series of activities organised for the International Federation of Interior Designers and Architects (IFI) 28th Biennial Congress. The Congress prepares to welcome over 500 local and international delegates and features architect Sir David Adjaye as a keynote speaker, Kunlé Adeyemi and writer, culture critic, and educator, Carol Becker,

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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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Exhibition: Fashion Cities Africa Marking Africa’s Influence On Global Fashion

Fashion Cities Africa [Exhibition] [Main image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – Judith Ricketts] Fashion Cities Africa is a major UK based exhibition that explores and celebrates the African continent’s influence and contribution to global fashion. The exhibition which opened earlier this year on 30th April at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery explores the diverse fashion and style of four leading African cities, Casablanca in Morocco; Nairobi in Kenya; Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa. Cities that are at the compass points of the African continent. Fashion Cities Africa tackles the misconceptions and […]

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Exhibition: Contemporary African Furniture Design on Display at Dubai Design Week

Jomo Furniture   [Image credit: Birth Chair II – Jomo Furniture] Dubai Design Week opens today and among the many events and works being showcased is The Birth Chair II by Ethiopian-American furniture design, Jomo Tariku. The Birth Chair II is inspired by African birthing chairs which are still being used in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and are also being incorporated in mainstream design as decorative pieces. The Birth Chair II is crafted from a single bent piece with clean lines for the seat and a sliding backrest with artistic carvings in the front and back. The idea behind Jomo’s design is to […]

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Exhibition: Celebrating The Life and Work of Legendary Photographer, Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé Exhibition at Somerset House [Mali] [Image credit: Amis des Espagnols, 1968,Photograph: © Malick Sidibé​Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris via The Guardian] The first UK solo exhibition celebrating the work of the legendary Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé is currently showing at Somerset House in London. Known as ‘the eye of Bamako’ Sidibé was one of Africa’s and indeed the world’s foremost photographers of the 20th Century, renowned for his iconic black and white images of ’60s and ’70s Mali that captured a youthful generation reveling in the freedom, confidence, and hope of independence. Images through which Sidibé created a valuable archive of […]

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Exhibition: Fashion Illustration and Art by Nigerian Artist Ibe Ananaba

Ibe Ananaba [Nigeria] [Image credit: ‘I Beta Pass My Neighbour’ (1) – Ibe Ananaba] A rising name in contemporary African art Nigerian artist and fashion illustrator Ibe Ananaba opened his solo exhibition a few days ago at the Rele Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. Entitled Sélénsé the exhibition is a body of contemporary works that tell the story of people’s way of expression through fashion. Ananaba took inspiration from the streets, taking the viewer on a visual exploration of everyday fashion. Looking at how fashion is worn, interpreted, and flaunted. Fitting given that the term Sélénsé is a local slang term meaning to ‘flaunt’ […]

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Exhibition: African Design at the London Design Biennale 2016

London Design Biennale [Design] [Image credits: Porky Hefer, London Design Biennale 2016 – Tapiwa Matsinde] International design season continues, yesterday I attended the press preview of the inaugural London Design Biennale which is being held at London’s prestigious Somerset House from today the 7th-27th September. The Biennale bringing together work and conceptual ideas from 37 nations exploring the theme Utopia, which coincides with Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, which marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s text, Utopia – a work of fiction and political philosophy that More published in 1516 in […]

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Exhibition: Creative Africa Art And Design Comes To Philadelphia

Africa’s creativity is certainly capturing global attention, with seemingly every major city around the world holding or is planning to hold an exhibition dedicated to exploring and showcasing African creativity. In May, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, saw the opening of  Creative Africa, a new major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that celebrates African art and design, and runs from May 14, 2016 – September 25, 2016. Creative Africa presents the work of visionary artists throughout Africa and is made up of a series of five individual exhibitions each exploring a distinct theme ranging from contemporary photography, fashion, and […]

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Events: “Picture Africa” – A Celebration of African Creativity at Decorex, Cape Town

Picture Africa [South Africa]   [Image credits: Picture Africa – Marianne Fassler Resort 16 Collection, Photography by Paul Samuels] “Picture Africa” is an exciting new exhibition that celebrates the relationship between photography, textiles, and fashion as seen through a pan-African lens. The exhibition will feature a host of leading African design and creative talent, as well as contributions from bloggers, image-makers, artisans, and fashion leaders. Curated by Cathy O’Clery “Picture Africa” is a feature of two 100% Design South Africa events, first taking place at Decorex Cape Town, which runs from 29 April – 2 May 2016, before travelling to Gauteng, where it will […]

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Exhibition: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Frieze Week, New York

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York [Image credit: Paul Sika, Dandelia #1, 2012. Photographic Print mounted on lightbox. Courtesy of Galerie Cecile Fakhoury via Christie’s]   The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair makes its debut in Brooklyn, New York tomorrow as part of Frieze Week. The Fair which first launched in London two years ago will feature 60 artists represented by 16 galleries. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair was founded by market developer Touria El Glaoui, as a platform to promote the art of established and emerging African artists by bringing together artists, galleries, art centres, and museums involved in African and Africa […]

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Exhibition: Kassena Town, Modern African Furniture Design at Grains of Paradise

Dokter and Misses – Kassena Town [South Africa]   Tomorrow sees the opening of Grains of Paradise, an exhibition of contemporary design from four of Africa’s leading design studios; Ardmore, Babacar Niang, Dokter and Misses, and Porky Hefer. The exhibition is presented by New York’s foremost design gallery, R & Company in collaboration with Southern Guild. Especially created for the exhibition, South African furniture and product designers Dokter and Misses have expanded on their sought after Kassena Server design to encompass a visually arresting mini-village of cabinets. With names like ‘Home’, ‘Watchtower’, ‘Horseman’ and ‘Sleep’ the collection pays homage to the […]

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Exhibition: Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum

Making Africa [Image credit: The Guy with Style, Mário Macilau – Vitra Design Museum] This spring the Vitra Design Museum in Germany will be holding a major exhibition showcasing contemporary design emerging from Africa. Entitled Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, the work on display will encompass a range of diverse creative disciplines such as fine arts, graphic design, illustration, film, photography, architecture, and urban planning. 

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Textiles: Yemi Awosile’s Textile Soundscapes

Yemi Awosile [Nigeria]   Also on display at Africa Utopia was a new body of work by London-based textile designer Yemi Awosile. Inspired by her Nigerian heritage Yemi set out to explore the relationships between sound, textiles and space. Entitled Lagos, the installation saw Yemi design a collection of printed textiles that give a physical form to sound. Incorporating audio components, the textiles make use of a combination of sound conductive and non-conductive materials to present a sound piece by Nigerian sound and video artist Emeka Ogboh Yemi called ‘UnderBridge’. Available to listen on Yemi’s website, the recording was taken from […]

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Exhibition: Africa Utopia 2014

Africa Utopia Africa Utopia returns to London’s Southbank Centre this week. Taking place over four days from Thursday 11 September 2014 – Sunday 14 September 2014, the festival is a celebration of arts and culture from Africa and the African Diaspora. From concerts to art installations the festival looks at how African art and ideas changing the world for the better, enabling visitors to explore areas including culture, community, technology, fashion, sustainability, and ethical wealth creation. There will also be the Africa Utopia Food Market, and Market Place offering art, homeware, fashion, and accessories to purchase.

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Exhibition: Contemporary African Art Fair

1:54 [Edson Chagas; Angola: Found not Taken, Luanda, 2009 – C-print on dibond, 120 x 80cm] One of the largest art fairs in the world, Frieze, officially starts to tomorrow bringing to London a host of prominent global collectors. Alongside the fair, which is held at Regent’s Park, a selection of the world’s leading galleries set up shop in the city, holding special shows in a bid to capture some of the Collectors’ attention. Making its debut at Frieze week, today sees the start of 1:54, the inaugural Contemporary African Art Fair, which is being held in the West Wing […]

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Exhibition: 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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Exhibition: Design Africa

African Design in the City [Image credit: Bangou Collection Lampshades – Julie Kouamo] September has been a good month for design lovers and proved a great month for viewing contemporary African design in person. The earlier part of the month saw London-based textile designer Julie Kouamo exhibit her latest collection of lampshades at Bangou at one of Europe’s biggest trade events, Maison et Objet in Paris. The lampshades are the latest editions to the Bangou collection, which was debuted in January 2013. Meanwhile, the prestigious London Design Festival (LDF), whose core events occurred between the 14th-22nd, brought with it London’s major trade shows and exhibitions, including 100% Design, Tent […]

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