Posted in News on the 29, September 2015

Find Madwa inside the new and beautiful book, Contemporary Design Africa by Tapiwa Matsinde. Thames & Hudson

For the first time, here is a book on contemporary African design that offers a fresh perspective rather than just concentrating on traditional crafts. Africa invented ‘design’; it just wasn’t called that. Now, expressing new-found confidence, an astonishingly variegated contemporary efflorescence is ready to go global. The reader is taken far beyond such cultural stereotypes as safari chic and is shown innovative creativity from across the continent. The work included illustrates how traditions are being revived, but with a contemporary twist. The award-winning designs by ZENZULU in South Africa, for instance, are based on the utilisation of the skills of Zulu master basket weavers. An introductory section identifies the sophistication, vitality, diversity and soulfulness of the past that is now harnessed to develop a contemporary African industry.

With a primary focus on interiors, sections on furniture, textiles, ceramics, basketry and lighting bring together the work of respected designers, makers and organisations based on the African continent or part of the diaspora. Celebrating the wider changes occurring across Africa, the fifty or so designers and crafters included have been chosen for their innovative approach to creating sophisticated products. Sustainability and recycling are often of the utmost importance: Cheick Diallo, the founder of the African Designers Association, for example, creates stunning pieces of furniture from discarded materials.

This book will preserve the traditions of the past by creating a record of the designs they are influencing in the present, whether shown in using natural indigo dyeing or in creating porcelain ceramics inspired by basketmaking designs. The book is completed by a map, as well as a glossary and a bibliography.

Contemporary Design Africa




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