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Seven Inspiring Modern African Design Collaborations

Collaboration is a powerful thing, the meeting of ideas to create new ones and at times offering up unexpected viewpoints. Collaboration offers those involved a chance to learn, pick up new skills and show off each other’s skills at their best. And in this spirit I have rounded up seven inspiring modern African design collaborations that have come together over the years:

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AAKS x UNHCR Weaving For Change

Luxury artisanal accessory brand AAKS has launched a stunning home decor collection inspired by the theme Weaving for Change. The collection comprises five distinctive handcrafted lamps and light pendants, each created in partnership with women artisans from the Tuareg community in Northern Mali who are living as refugees in Burkina Faso. In working with this Tuareg community AAKS are helping to celebrate and preserve the community’s cultural identity and their time-honoured basket weaving traditions, a philosophy that has defined AAKS’s work with local communities in Ghana.

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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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Exhibition Honouring Legendary Malian Photographer, Malick Sidibé

The first UK solo exhibition honouring the work of the legendary Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé is currently showing at Somerset House in London. Often affectionately referred to 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 modern Mali. Malick Sidibe’s death aged 80, in April this year marked the end of a life privileged to capture […]

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Textiles: Age-old Weaving Tradition Meets Innovation

Yéleen Design [Mali]         [Image credits: Yéleen Design] Age-old traditional hand weaving techniques unite with innovative materials to produce a beautiful array of interior and exterior textiles courtesy of Yéleen Design. Formed in 2003 and located in Bamako, Mali; Yéleen Design is the creation of respected designer Aida Duplessis. Aida experiments with weaving organic cotton with natural fibers such as vetiver, flax, hemp; and even seaweed and nettle to produce clean simple lines that add to the aesthetic appeal. Traditional weavers work to reproduce the designs across carpets, cushions, rugs and throws; in a range of sublte and rather soothing […]

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Beauty: L’Artisan Parfumeur inspired by Timbuktu

L’Artisan Parfumeur – Timbuktu [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: L’Artisan Parfumeur] In a collection inspired by travels and capturing the sweetest, familiar scents found across the globe; Timbuktu is the second fragrance of master parfumeur, Betrand Duchaufour’s L’Artisan Parfumeur travel collection. With a passion for capturing elusive scents that invoke a sense of place, Betrand has spent time travelling the world. In West Africa, Betrand was inspired by the rich scents found and the traditional art of Wusulan, the Malian art of making perfume, which captured his imagination. Wusulan is an inherited ancient art, one that has been handed down through the generations from mother to daughter […]

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Design: Cheick Diallo’s Innovative African Furniture Designs

Diallo Design [Mali] [Image credits: Diallo Design] Cheick Diallo the innovative furniture designer behind Diallo Design studied Architecture in France and whilst there discovered his love for furniture design. One of Africa’s leading furniture and product designers Diallo aims to bring a cosmopolitan view to Africa’s design by creating a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern sensuality. [Image credits: Diallo Design and egodesign.ca] [Image credits: Diallo Design] Diallo’s designs are elegant using simple sculptural forms and clean lines, relying on the patterns and textures of the materials to provide depth and added dimension. The designs are seen as furniture as art, are sought after by art collectors […]

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