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S3 Ep 7: Behind The Design Season 3 Wrap Up and Reflections

You are listening to Behind the Design episode #7 the Studio Lessons. Which brings us to the end of season 3. I want to thank all of my guests for taking the time to chat especially during the circumstances we currently find ourselves in to give us a behind the scenes look into their design journeys. They like most of us have experienced the upheaval and uncertainty of navigating their way through a pandemic and having to continually adapt as the world finds its way towards some sense of stability. And while we can never be sure about what tomorrow […]

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S3 Ep 6 Using Fashion to Heal, Empower Women to be Bold and the Importance of Telling Our Own Stories with Mariatu Turay-Akar

In this episode, I chat with Mariatu Turay-Akar. Mariatu is the founder of Gitas Portal a London-based mid-luxury fashion brand that uses vibrant African wax cloth textiles to celebrate diversity in culture. For Mariatu wearing colour is all about having the freedom to express yourself, and her company has a particular focus on inspiring and empowering women to make bold, winning choices in their lives, and to not be afraid to tell their stories. We go all out to inspire and empower women. – Mariatu Turay-Akar Starting Gitas Portal was an organic process. Born in the UK Mariatu grew up […]

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S3 Ep 5 Diversity in African Creativity, Underrepresentation in Design, and Being Good Enough to Interpret Our Own Culture with Jomo Tariku

In this episode, I chat with Ethiopian / American artist and furniture designer, Jomo Tariku. Through his company Jomo Furniture Jomo creates furniture pieces inspired by classical African design icons, reinterpreting the forms for modern living. Born in Kenya, raised in Ethiopia, and now living in the US Jomo’s interest in product design began while at University where choosing to do a thesis on modern African furniture design lead to his questioning why it was so hard to find modern African furniture design. Research would reveal the same old tired stereotypes and he knew African design could be so much […]

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S3 Ep4 Designing with Meaning, Referencing African Wisdom and Championing Sub-Saharan African Design with Chrissa Amuah

In this episode, I chat with textile designer Chrissa Amuah. Chrissa is a textile designer and the founder of AMWA Designs a London-based brand of handmade textiles and print designs for the home. She is also the founder of Africa by Design a platform bringing together and creating opportunities for African designers. Of Ghanaian heritage, Chrissa’s sees design not only as a way of connecting to her heritage but also as a means to help the continent to realign, re-navigate its future. And harnessing the power of design to bring about great change. It is this passion that led to […]

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S3 Ep 3 Showcasing Creative Heritage Through a Contemporary Lens with Lani Adeoye

In this episode, I chat with award-winning sculptural lighting and product designer and design strategist. Lani is the founder of Studio Lani. For Lani coming to design was a very organic process one which saw her leaving behind a career as a management consultant. At the time she was living and working in Canada, and a redesign of the offices where she was working opened her up to the possibilities of design to transform the way we interact with spaces. She started attending local design shows to learn more about the industry and soon left Canada for the US to […]

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S3 Ep 2 Honouring your Gift and Carrying on the Traditions of his Ancestors with Andile Dyalvane

In this episode, I chat with clay healer and ceramic artist Andile Dyalvane. Andile is the co-founder of Imiso a high-end brand of bespoke, conversational, and collectibles ceramics. Andile is recognised among the worlds leading ceramicists shaping the future of ceramics. In our conversation, he takes through the journey of where it all began in Ngobozana the village in the Eastern Cape where he grew up.

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S2 Ep 7 Behind The Design Season 2 Wrap Up and Reflections

You are listening to Behind the Design episode #7 the Studio Lessons. Which brings us to the end of season 2. It has been another inspiring season, and I thank all my guests for taking the time to chat and give us a behind the scenes look into their design journeys. I’ve loved discovering their motivations and the challenges and rewards that come from doing what they do.

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S2 Ep 6 Creating Sustainable Livelihoods Through the Creative Economy with Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro Founder MitiMeth

In this episode, I chat with entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro. Achenyo is the founder of MitiMeth. An award-winning social enterprise based in Nigeria with a mission of creating sustainable livelihoods through the creative economy. Working with local communities MitiMeth takes water hyacinth, an evasive destructive weed, and upcycles it into personal and interior accessories.

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S2 Ep4 Talking Self-belief, the Responsibility that Comes with Privilege and Having the Confidence to Seize the Opportunities with Thabisa Mjo

In this episode, I chat with Thabisa Mjo. Thabisa is the designer, behind Mash.T an award-winning Johannesburg based design studio that is contributing to the continuing evolution of a home-grown contemporary South African design aesthetic.Thabisa started out in the TV industry designing sets and moved into creating spaces that people in the real world could interact with

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S2 Ep 3 Building on the Legacy of the Family Business and Nurturing the Next Generation with Audrey Forson

In this episode, I chat with Audrey Forson. Audrey is a furniture designer, and the managing director of Tekura, her family’s business in Ghana. Taking over the helm from her mother Josephine who started Tekura with the support of her husband Kweku, Audrey is now taking the business to the next level. In our conversation, we talk about family business, the meaning of legacy and the importance of leaving something for, and nurturing the next generation. 

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S2 Ep 2 Having the Courage to Step Away from Your Dream and Start Over with Lola Ukinamemen of Agnes & Lola

In this episode, I chat with Lola Ukinamemen. Lola is the founder of the fashion and lifestyle brand, Agnes & Lola, a platform that pioneered the retail and therefore availability of African fashion to international audiences. Since then Agnes & Lola has undergone significant changes as Lola went back to the drawing board closing it down for a while before returning to start over from scratch. In this conversation we chat about letting go, having the courage to walk away from a dream when things are not working out as you hoped. Dealing with the internal shame of giving up […]

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S2 Ep 1 Welcome to Season 2 of Behind the Design

Welcome to episode 1 of the second season of Behind The Design. This season I bring you more great conversation and insight into the work of amazing creative talent from across Africa and in the diaspora. And I must say thank you for the comments I have received so for about episodes in the first season. I am so glad to hear how much some of the conversations have resonated and inspired you. And I have passed the comments onto my guests. I hope you will find this season just as inspiring, and I am looking forward to welcoming you […]

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Ep 9: Behind The Design Season 1 Wrap Up and Reflections

This episode brings us to the end of season one. And what a season it has been. Experiences have been shared, nuggets of wisdom and inspiration have been given. I don’t know about you but I’ve learned a lot. Firstly, I want to thank each one of my guests for taking time out from their busy schedules to chat with me and give us an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in their studios and careers.

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Ep 8: Culture, creativity, and creating a distinctive design identity with Olubunmi Adeyemi

In this episode I chat with Olubunmi Adeyemi. Lagos based, Nigerian born designer, Olubunmi is an internationally recognized designer, interior architect and lifestyle entrepreneur. He is the founder of AFROMINIMA™ a design and lifestyle movement inspired by minimalism, and The DÅ brand. Olubunmi has studied design in both London and South Africa. An alumni of the prestigious Lagos Business School, he is currently pursuing a masters at Central St Martins, in London, UK.

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Ep 7: A masterclass in marketing your brand beyond social media and why having your own platform matters with Kwabena Oppong Boateng

In this episode I chat with Kwabena Oppong Boateng. Kwabena is a dynamic communications professional with extensive social media, telecommunications and advertising experience across public, private and corporate sectors in Ghana, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is the founder of Kayobi clothing, and Nkanee, a 21st century strategy consultancy based Accra, Ghana that specialises in innovative physical and digital experiences powered by ideas and creativity.

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Ep 6: Tracing the journey of turning an idea into a globally stocked ethical fashion brand with Akosua Afriyie-Kumi

In this episode I chat with Akosua Afriyie-Kumi. Akosua is the founder of A A K S, a fashion accessories brand that tells an exciting story of Ghana, and offers a different perspective of Africa as a whole. A A K S’s raffia bags are handmade by a women’s cooperative in Northern Ghana, and uses ethical processes inspired by old-age craft traditions. Through her brand Akosua wants the world to see how luxury and quality can grow from traditional designs and is using AAKS bags to change perceptions of Africa through fashion. She has been shortlisted as an emerging designer […]

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Ep 5: Reflecting on 10 years and what it takes to build a luxury African textiles brand with Eva Sonaike

In this episode, I chat with Eva Sonaike. Eva is the founder of Eva Sonaike, London-based interiors and lifestyle brand creating luxurious textiles and home décor products. Eva, who was born and raised in Germany and is of Nigerian heritage, has taken the best elements of these two cultures to inspire her work. The result being designs that bring the vibrancy of African colours and aesthetics to the luxury home décor and accessories market. 

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Ep 4: Designing user experiences with customers in mind, overcoming setbacks, and tech in Africa with Farai Madzima

In this episode I chat with Farai Madzima. Farai is a UX Lead at Shopify in Ottawa, Canada. Born in Zimbabwe, Farai has spent the last 14 years helping to design and build products and teams in the UK, South Africa and Canada. He is the organiser of Pixel Up!, a series of UX and design conferences and meetups in South Africa created to connect designers and developers in Africa with their peers around the world. 

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