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S4 E5 Exploring Design at the Intersection of Technology, Science, Nature and Society with Natsai Audrey Chieza

In this episode, I chat with Natsai Audrey Chieza. Natsai is a designer working at the intersection of technology science and nature and society. She is the founder of Faber Futures an R & D agency that is creating new spaces and strategies that relate to climate change and biodiversity loss, and the social structures that underpin our human survival. In our conversation, Natsai explains bio-design talking us through this exciting emerging technology and the implications it has on devising and creating better sustainable design solutions for our world.

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S4 E4 Exploring the Impact Designers Working with Artisans Have on Their Lives and Bringing True Sustainable Value to Artisanal Communities with Dr Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri

In this episode, I chat with Dr Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri. Pam is a multi-award-winning accessories designer, educator, and author, with her own label called Vanhu Vamwe. Her experiences of working with artisans and feeling personally part of the problem of exploiting vulnerable communities led Pam to study a PhD where she could explore the impact designers working with artisans have on their lives and how to make the process better by bringing true, sustainable value to these communities.

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S4 E3 Finding Clarity, Brand Focus and Managing a Business During a Global Health Crisis with Audrey Migot-Adholla

In this episode, I chat with Audrey Migot-Adholla. Audrey is the founder of Yala Jewellery an award-winning made in Kenya jewellery brand. In our conversation we talk about the meaning of sustainable luxury, collaborating with her artisan producers across continents, managing a business during a global health crisis, her thoughts on the spotlight being shone on black creatives as a result of Black Lives Matter.

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S4 E2 Establishing Herself as an Architect, Managing Multiple Businesses, and Using Insecurity as a Strength with Tosin Oshinowo

In this episode, I chat with architect and product designer Tosin Oshinowo. Tosin is an architect with her own architectural practice called C M Design Atelier. She is also a product designer designing furniture using local fabrics under the brand Ilé Ilà. In our conversation, we talk about establishing her name as an architect, cultivating the confidence needed to win contracts and the business support essentials that have enabled her to start and managing multiple businesses.

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S4 Welcome to Season 4 of Behind the Design

A warm welcome to Season 4 of Behind the Design. Introducing another stellar line up my guests this season come from the worlds of textiles, architecture, product, and fashion design. Not to mention delving into academia, science and technology and their influences on design practice and the future of design.

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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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