Craft-Led Design and Architecture That Celebrates Local Materials and Techniques

In 2005 designers Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner brought together their architectural education and informal furniture-making skills to set up Studio Propolis, a design workshop based in Nairobi. In doing so the husband and wife team have created a studio that combines their love of designing and with a continually evolving craft culture at its heart.

From buildings to murals to doors and interior fittings, their work flows across different scales, and disciplines. Simple, well thought out forms are characteristic of the Studio Propolis design aesthetic enhanced by a range of diverse, locally sourced materials. Materials include natural, solid woods chosen to withstand constant use, the textured surfaces of unglazed ceramics, and robust cast iron. With an eye on sustainability, the couple also takes care of reclaim and reuse materials.

Naeem and Beth were among ten African designers IKEA collaborated with on their limited edition OVERALLT collection. The couple’s designs for the Swedish furniture retail giant included seating, table and serveware inspired by Kenyan family life in slowing down and taking the time to sit, eat, and drink together.

Design in which form, function and exceptional handiwork take centre stage.

– Tapiwa

Additional details:

To find out more about Studio Propolis visit: www.studiopropolis.com

[Image credits: The images shown belong to Studio Propolis. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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