For over a decade and a half an exciting, thriving design scene has taken hold across the African continent, bringing forth a host of talent who are drawing increased global attention. These new voices are challenging the stereotypes that have long defined design from Africa, their work reflecting the wider changes happening across the continent. Designers and artisans together are offering up new perspectives, reviving and revitalising ancient traditions and crafts, and seeking ways to make their world better. This has resulted in innovative, sophisticated products that not only reflect the diversity of the continent, but are also championing ‘made in Africa’. Specifically looking to the world of contemporary decor, highlighted over the following pages are a selection of leading and emerging designers drawn from the disciplines of: furniture, ceramics, textiles, product, and basketry design who are making their mark on the industry.
Tapiwa Matsinde is a UK-based designer, writer, and founder of the design blog Atelier Fifty-Five. In her new book, Contemporary Design Africa (Thames & Hudson), Matsinde presents 50 designers, artisans, and cooperatives based on the continent or part of the diaspora who are creating sophisticated and innovative products and interiors.