Back in 2009, Moroso, an Italian design and upholstery studio known for its energy and innovation, had an inspiring collection on display in their showroom centered around Africa.
The collection, called M’Afrique, had a strong African influence with striking colours and patterns. The organiser of the event, Patrizia Moroso was quoted as saying,
Multifaceted, modern Africa deserves to be known and sustained for the originality of the creative languages with which it enriches global culture. The African continent is extraordinarily rich in creativity, materials and ideas that are sources of inspiration and nourishment for us. When applied to design, they engender products which exude tradition and modernity, innovation and history, form and beauty. I think there is so much of Africa and in this event my intent was to showcase the creativity of a few of the great artists and personalities of contemporary African culture. Going beyond the stereotypes that present Africa as a tragic or, at best, exotic experience, we want to highlight some aspects of contemporary African culture, which is in effect comparable to global culture. Looking at Africa through the eyes of contemporary art, photography, architecture and design is perhaps the most appropriate way of approaching this vast, powerful continent, so creatively rich and diverse that today it is still one of western modernity’s greatest sources of inspiration
Here are some of the products made in Africa by local craftspeople, which make use of a unique hand-weaving technique (which is now being employed by Moroso) intertwining plastic threads with are traditionally used for making fish nets.
THE SHADOWY COLLECTION by TORD BOONTJE
The Shadowy collection comprises chairs, armchairs, loungers and a stool/table in sporting very peculiar geometry that has been descibed as “light-hearted”.
MADAME DAKAR and more by BIBI SECK and AYSE BIRSEL
Madame Dakar by Bibi Seck and Ayse Birse Nopolou by Bibi Seck and Ayse Birse Bayekou by Bibi Seck and Ayse Birse Toogou by Bibi Seck and Ayse Birse Bayekou by Bibi Seck and Ayse Birse
Some of the other products on display, were inspired by Africa but designed by international designers. They include:
BINTA and BOGOLAN POUFFES by Philippe Bestenaider
Binta is a sculptural armchair, whose solid form is reminiscent of the baobab tree. It is upholstered in multicolour patchwork wax prints. The Bogolan Pouffe is a by product of tyre recycling printed with decorative motifs.
A RANGE OF POUFFES AND ARMCHAIRS BY STEPHEN BURK
A BENCH BY PATRICIA URQUIOLA
The collection is a celebration of culture, tradition, design and, well, Africa. The pieces take their bearing from the character and aesthetic of Africa, a continent that inspires the world for its diversity, richness and history. I guess that why the name”M’Afrique” which I believe translates to “My Africa” was selected, because while not all the designers are indigenous to its land, they still find a connection to it.