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5 African Designers you should definitely know now

As I am sure you have noticed, African inspired interior decors have been so trendy lately.

It is easy to recognize that unique ethnic touch in the bold patterns and vivid colors, as well as in the raw materials and earthy tones that populate the current aesthetic vogues.

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Even big and popular names, like IKEA, have launched collections that feature creations inspired to the beauty and suggestions of the Black Continent; and according to the experts, the role of Africa in future trends will be more and more predominant.  

And yet, it is mostly hard to give a name to the talented African designers behind the scenes; those brilliant minds whose work is leaving a mark, inspiring and innovating the international interior design scene. Let’s then meet some of them!

Here are 5 African designers and creatives you should definitely know.


Be inspired by African design:


5 African designers to Know Now

 

1| Cheick Diallo – Mali | African designers

This gifted Malian architect and designer is gaining fame through his remarkable pieces of furniture, unique hand made crafts with a strong sculptural power where materials, comfort and local taste elegantly mix.

 

Cheick Diallo credits

 

His colorful seats, in particular, are intriguing: speaking to the West African ancient tradition of weaving and inspired to local fisherman’s net, they also bear an environmental message, being all made with recycled plastics and metals.

Cheick Diallo’s iconic armchairs credits

 

2| Babacar Niang – Senegal | African designers

Senegalese wood sculptor and artist, Babacar Niang founded Nulangee studio in 2004 and got soon noticed for his powerful anthropomorphic creations made with discarded materials such as ebony, metal, bones and leather. The Vertebrae chairs in particular, have gained wide recognition, becoming his trademark work.

 

Babacar Niang and some of his creations, including the Vertebrae Chair credits

 

Babacar Niang died in 2015 but his brothers, Balla and Lamine, keep interpreting his legacy with other formidable creations: from tables with fragile bowed legs, to molded and plaited leather chairs, each of their pieces is unique but coherent with that impressive inspiration to the human body that already animated Babacar’s work.

Nulangee Studio anthropomorphic signature creations credits

 

3| Olubunmi Adeyemi – Nigeria | African designers

Nigerian designer and interior architect, founder of the brand Afrominima, Olubunmi Adeyemi aims with his work at connecting minimal design with cultural consciousness, functionality with African traditions.

Olubunmi Adeyemi credits 

 

Among his many creations, his cooking utensils are well illustrative: made in locally sourced wood and finished with a playful colorful band on the handle tips, their design is simple and minimalist, as per the latest Japandi trends, while their outline recalls the basic objects of the African cooking traditions such as handle bowls, pestles and mortars.

Some items of the minimalist collection Raw Urban, by Olubunmi Adeyemi credits 

 

4| Fatimaty Ly – Senegal | African designers

Senegalese artist and ceramist designer, Fatimaty Ly (or Faty, as in the brand Faty Ly she has launched in 2015) creates fine ceramic pieces that revive West African history and old traditions.

 

Senegalese artist and designer Fatimaty Ly credits 

 

The collection Nguka, for example, made in fine bone china, represent African women wearing Nguka, the typical garments and horn-like hairstyle intended for special occasions and celebrations;   The Baobab plates instead, depict one of the most iconic symbols of the whole Black Continent and all colored in blue cobalt, as a homage to the Indigo tint, an ancestral African pigment often utilized for clothes and accessories.

Faty Ly’s Ngouka and Baobab collection credits

 

Her Pounding Lights are also very interesting, as completely opposite to the delicate and flawless porcelains: made in raw ceramics and split in two parts, they want to represent imperfection and are a hymn to the old craft of hand made pottery.

Faty Ly’s Pounding lights credits

 

5| Chrissa Amuah – Ghana | African designers

Chrissa Amuah, textile designer raised in London but with strong Ghanaian roots, is the brilliant mind behind the brand AMWA, where different concepts and cultures meet and merge beautifully.

 

Chrissa Amuah; on the background, one of her Adinkra wallpaper credits

 

Look at her iconic Asanka coffee tables, which bear the name of the traditional clay bowl used in Ghana to blend and grind food; or to all of her homeware textiles and print designs, inspired to  Adinkra – old Ghanaian tribal symbols used to graphically represent thoughts and proverbs. What an impressive mix of colors, patterns, texture and geometry!

Asanka coffee table by AMWA, inspired to the Ghanaian traditional clay bowl credits 

 

Have a look to the other main design trends, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone!

 

Cover credits