'Contemporary Design Africa' author Tapiwa Matsinde highlights 10 leading contemporary decor designers from Africa.
Cheick Diallo (Furniture and Product Design, Mali)
Cheick Diallo: Sansa Chairs © courtesy of Alioune Ba for Diallo Design– Featured in Contemporary Design Africa © Thames & Hudson
A designer, maker, producer, consultant and educator, furniture and product designer, Cheick Diallo is a leading figure in the industry. Hailing from Mali, Diallo trained as an architect in France, and then established his studio, Diallo Design, in 1997 in Bamako. Labelled "an African design hero" by Elle Decoration South Africa, Diallo is known for his innovative approach towards developing iconic designs that constantly push the boundaries of what defines design from Africa. His award-winning aesthetic blends artisanal methods with influences from his architectural background, and he has also chosen to work with discarded materials such as scrap metal, old fishing nets and plastic. In addition to his design practice, Diallo has also dedicated himself to developing Africa's design industry through collaborations and other projects designed to help emerging designers and organisations improve their own creative practices.