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Architect and Furniture Designer Moran Munyuthe on Design, Inspiration and Working for Yourself

Architect and furniture designer Moran Munyuthe is the founder of the Saba Studios, a studio, workshop and retail outlet based on the island of Lamu where he works in partnership with local craftsmen to create heirloom-quality furniture inspired by local design and motifs. We caught up with him to get an insight into furniture design, running a workshop and shop and the journey of working for yourself.

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Kilubukila – Building A Business Whilst Working the 9-5

Last December whilst showcasing our books at the Africa Centre Christmas Market Pop Up we found ourselves neighbours with a furniture design business called Kilubukila, and subsequently got chatting to the founder Jess Kilubu. Jess is among an ever-increasing number of people following their dreams by starting a business whilst working the 9-5 and we invited him to share his motivations and experiences of his creative entrepreneurial journey so far. 1. Please introduce yourself, telling us a bit about your background, and where you are based, and when you set up Kilubukila? I was born and raised in France from a […]

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Ichyulu Connecting Modern African Fashion With Consumers

Ichyulu is a Nairobi based fashion retail platform that specialises in connecting consumers with African fashion. We caught up with the company to learn more about the African fashion retail industry and get her thoughts on the opportunities and advice for fashion designers looking to stock through retail outlets. 1. Please introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about your background, where you are based and what led to you following a fashion-focused career. I’m Kenyan and I’m based in Nairobi, Kenya. I have always loved African fashion and for a long time, I was a client. I got to […]

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Product Designer Thabisa Mjo Talks Competitions, Design And Business

Thabisa Mjo the founder of Mash T. Design Studio in Johannesburg was a winner of the Nandos Young Hot Designer in 2016, wowing the judges with her show-stopping Tutu 2.0 pendant light, inspired by the Xibelani skirt worn by Tsonga women. Thabisa’s work is a mix of modern design and a celebration of culture referenced in the shapes, patterns, and textures she uses. Winning the competition gave her the confidence to go out and enter more and also showcase her work locally and internationally. She speaks to us about her journey to building a successful design studio.

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Q&A With Pop Up Africa Founder Jessica Laditan

Global interest in all things Africa continues to grow thanks in part to dedicated exhibitions and events that help to introduce the continent’s diverse offerings to new audiences. In the UK Pop Up Africa is one such series of events, usually comprising a mix of vibrant market and delectable food stalls, and where we had the opportunity to showcase Shoko Press books at one of their events over the summer. Events like these take a lot of behind the scenes planning, hard work, and passion. And to find out more we caught up with Pop Up Africa founder Jessica Laditan to get […]

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Q&A With Award-Winning Kenyan Digital Artist Osborne Macharia

The rapid advancement of digital technology brings forth diverse creative expressions, such as digital art that continue to astound and amaze us. Digital art has given a powerful voice to Africa’s emerging creative talent allowing for ta relative ease of dissemination and in the process attracting global attention towards stories and images that speak of life in a modern continent. Kenyan digital artist Osborne Macharia, founder of K63.STUD/O is one of those rising talents whose mastery of the digital medium has let to collaborations and commissions with high-profile local and global brands and agencies such as Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz, Kenya […]

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Siyanda Mbele Talks Furniture Design And Culture

Siyanda Mbele is making a name for himself in the world of contemporary South African furniture and interior design. His streamlined and stylish designs regularly reference his Zulu heritage. We caught up with the designer to find out a bit more about his inspirations and the importance of culture in design: 1. What led you to furniture design, how long have you been working in the industry, and what do you enjoy most about your job? I have always been interested in created objects. At first, I was obsessed with drawing/ designing cars. Gradually I started loving furniture specifically tables, […]

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Adora Mba, The Afropolitan Collector On Contemporary African Art

Contemporary African art is an exciting dynamic movement, that continues to make its mark on the global stage. As the names of existing talent and emerging stars command greater attention, the African art industry as a whole is responding in kind with galleries springing up across the continent; prestigious auction houses hosting evenings dedicated to the work of Africa’s artists; and art fairs such as 1:54 connecting artists, galleries and buyers. To find out more about this exciting scene we caught up with Adora Mba, art consultant and founder of The Afropolitan Collector to talk life as an art consultant, collecting […]

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Interview With Kossi Aguessy Visionary Designer And Artist

In March 2015, I had the privilege of interviewing designer and artist Kossi Aguessy in which we discussed his work, career, inspirations, and aspirations to date. The exchange was both inspirational and an insightful look into the workings of a complex mind. 1. Tell me a bit about yourself: your background, how you came to design as a career, setting up your studio, and the motivation behind working for yourself as opposed to working for someone else? I grew up in an environment, which was not as one might say truly inclined to favor artistry, a brotherhood of four more focused […]

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Interview: Illustrator Michelle Njeri Cuthbert On Working With Footwear Designers

Working on Fashion Illustration Africa provided a behind the scenes look into the work, inspirations, experiences, and styles of the illustrators we were privileged enough to feature. It was so interesting to see the differing interpretations, and in particular, the contributions these illustrators are making towards growing a commercial African fashion illustration industry by connecting with African fashion brands both on the continent and internationally. Therefore when we caught a first look at the collaboration between textile designer and one of our featured fashion illustrators Michelle Njeri Cuthbert and the luxury footwear brand MO SAÏQUE we caught up with Michelle to find […]

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Global Goods Partners On Design, Sustainability And Making A Difference

Global Goods Partners is a inspirational non-profit social enterprise that was set up by women to help women. Launched in 2005 by Catherine Lieber Shimony and Joan Shifrin, and headquartered in New York, Global Goods Partners works to provide women in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities with the means to earn a sustainable income by providing a platform to promote and sell collaborative collections of their handmade products. The products are sold through the organisation’s website. Atelier Fifty-Five caught up with co-founder Joan Shifrin to find out more about sustainable design and the life-changing work Global Goods Partners is doing. […]

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Beautifully Engineered Craft Ifeanyi Oganwu Design Indaba Interview

Ifeanyi Oganwu is a young talented architect and designer whom I had the honour of profiling for a Design Indaba interview available on the online platform. Ifeanyi who works in London is the founder of the experimental design studio Expand Design. His furniture designs are attracting attention for their fluid, organic forms. Design Indaba is the South African based platform that drives a better world through creativity with its online platform and annual festival. To find out more about Ifeayni and his work please visit Design Indaba to read the full profile. [Image credit: Blue Splice – Expand Design]

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