One of the most exciting exhibitions we visited as part of this year’s London Design Festival was Graphic Africa, at Habitat in London’s King’s Road. It showcased work by 16 designers from 10 countries in East, West and Southern Africa, who have been helped and steered towards new directions through a development program called Design Network Africa (DNA) and external influencers (including the Habitat senior design team). The exhibition is still on (until 20 October), and products include crafted metal furniture, textiles, a capsule collection of ceramics, glassware and lighting all drawing from the most contemporary interpretation of African pattern and scale.
The wildly original crafted metal furniture in the two images above is by Hamed Ouattara from Burkina Faso.
Gone Rural works with over 760 Swazi women to create covetable Fairtrade products (like this beautiful basket) out of their indigenous grass.
Babacar M’Bodj Niang from Senegal works with pieces of wood in improbable shapes and combines them with leather, horn, fish skin and other materials to create highly individual pieces of furniture.
West Africa-based textile designer Boubacar Doumbia is working with Rebecca Hoyes, Habitat’s Senior Designer to produce a limited edition textile collection based on ‘mud cloth’ techniques. The result will be a collection of cushions, throws and home textiles, exclusive to Habitat.
Graphic Africa Exhibition is on until 20 October in the Platform gallery at Habitat, 208 King’s Road, London SW3 5XP. Tel: 08444991144