Africa is a hub of innovative designs influenced through the diverse cultural heritage of its people. Here are some of the ways in which Africa is emerging as a strong design frontier in the global landscape.
Africa is known for its beautiful landscapes and enriched cultural diversity. In recent decades, African designers have made waves for their unique perspectives on architecture, art and interior design. Africa has the unique advantage of being an international melting pot with historical influences that has resulted in a rare individuality and design personality. Here are some ways that Africa is leading the charge with design.
Leading African Designs
Cape Town born photographer, Krisjan Rossouw, recently presented viewers with an interesting new collection called Culture Club. This work establishes a conversation around African Pop Art and the traditional clay rituals which disregards traditional perceptions that he feels were meant to differentiate. His subjects are lit in opposing hues creating an unnatural saturation level which proposes questions around skin colour and cultural identity in a seeming playful ode to African pop culture.
Born in Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso, Hamed Ouattara creates works that are fundamentally revolving around paying homage to cultural heritage and the re-interpretation of traditional Burkina Faso metal-work culture. Ouattara believes that “Art has a role to play in the development of Africa and my work reflects this conviction”. This strikingly true statement has shaped his pieces to become recognisable through his craftsmanship and repurposing of old metals that are formed to evolve into something special and functional.
Nthabi Taukobong is the founder of Ditau Interiors which is based in Johannesburg and largely focuses on providing interior design services to exclusive clientele that she has termed as ‘barefoot luxury’. Her style can be outlined be it’s unique African influence that is luxurious and effortless. Her proud African heritage is a strong influence in all of her designs as she says “On an occasion such as this, we should, perhaps, start from the beginning.
So, let me begin. I am an African.”
The South African architectural firm, Counterspace, was chosen to conceptualise and design the 20th Serpentine Pavilion in London. The pavilion, which was originally planned to launch in 2020, opened to the public on the 11th of June 2021. The firm’s principal architect, Sumayya Vally, took charge of the overall design in a landmark moment not only for the pavilion as the youngest architect to be commissioned in the history of the pavilion but for South African design as well. Her work is a discourse for hybrid identities and memory. Her innovative approach to the design has resulted in fragmented sites of the Pavilion across London as a gesture of decentralizing the main design to be more inclusive of a variety of voices.
Africa has an abundance of creativity fuelled by a deep cultural heritage. We are proud to see the emergence of these voices through our beautiful continent. Our continent’s appreciation of beauty is the very reason why we offer our services through Africa. With projects from Nigeria to Cape Town, we are excited to grow in this vibrant atmosphere.