African design goes global with Design Indaba and IKEA
Posted: 13 September 2017
For their very first collection by African designers, Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA is partnering with local, multifaceted platform Design Indaba. Twelve young African designers – including architects, artists and creatives from South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Angola – will be working with four in-house IKEA designers to create an African-inspired and -designed collection that will officially launch in 2019. This is just another step in Africa's increasing involvement in the global design movement. 'The creative explosion that is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about,' says Marcus Engman, head of design at IKEA. 'We want to learn from this and spread it to the rest of the world. Working together with these designers and creatives gives us the opportunity to do so.' Ravi Naidoo, managing director and founder of Design Indaba, highlights his belief that the next big global design movement will originate in Africa. 'We love [IKEA's] credo: a better everyday life for everyone. Now, it will also be inspired by urban Africa, and our intrepid pan-continental group of reformers, thinkers, makers and activists.' African designers Bethan Rayner and Naeem Biviji of Studio Propolis, and Bibi Seck, architect Christian Benimana, as well as Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem of Reform Studio, architects Issa Diabaté, Paula Nascimento, Renée Rossouw, fashion designers Selly Raby Kane and Laduma Ngxokolo, and textile designer Sindiso Khumalo will be working with Mikael Axelsson, Kevin Gouriou, Hanna Dalrot and Johanna Jelenik from IKEA to produce a collection that explores modern rituals and the importance they play in the home. Of the 12, three designers originate from South Africa. Having worked with several NGOs to create sustainable textiles, Sindiso Khumalo has brought a graphic language to life that combines her Zulu and Ndebele heritage, while Renée Rossouw draws on her skills as both an artist and architect for a variety of creative endeavours including murals and pattern-making. Sindiso and Renée have each been working with IKEA's Johanna Jelinek to create a series of patterns – some abstract and geometric, and others figurative. Laduma Ngxokolo is known for his knitwear that promotes Xhosa culture and his socially conscious designs. He's been working with Mikael Axelsson to develop a new rug that will complement a circular bench currently being designed by husband-and-wife duo Bethan Rayner and Naeem Biviji. As if we didn't know it before, this collaboration makes it clear that the African continent is making serious waves in the global design industry, and we can't wait to see what happens next. Visit ikea.com for more details.