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TheUrbanative by South African product and furniture designer Mpho Vackier is a collection of furniture and products that aim to tell the stories of African culture both past and present. TheUrbanative’s designs are characterised by bold geometric shapes and graphic patterns based on the patterns of diverse African cultures fused with midcentury European design. 

Theurbanative contemporary African furniture

The company’s debut collection drew heavily from the artforms of the Ndebele peoples of Southern Africa famed for their colourful graphic patterns adorning walls, clothing and adornment, and these were translated into sideboards, servers, chairs, mix and match trays amongst other designs.

Mpho Vackier Theurbanative contemporary African furniture Nomazamo Blue Cabinet Sideboard
Theurbanative Wambo Fringed Ottoman African contemporary furniture design blue seating

The Crowns Collection inspired by vintage African hairstyles drawn on the forms, lines and textures that come from plaiting and moulding Afro hair into elaborate designs. The fabric pattern on the stylish Nzinga Crown Ottoman for example is inspired by a headpiece worn by Queen Nzinga’s of Ndongo and Matamba in Luanda, Angola; whilst the striking Oromo chairs reference the organic lines of the Oromo (Kemetic Africa) hairstyle in Jimma in the late 1800s; and the braided hair of the Wambo tribe in Namibia in the 1940’s provides inspiration for the elegant Wambo Fringed Ottoman.

Theurbanative South African modern furniture design.jpg

Hair has always played a significant role in the culture of ancient African civilisations. It has been a symbol and disseminator of family background, social status, spirituality, fertility, differing tribes, and marital status. – Mpho Vackier, TheUrbanative

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

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