A recent article in African Business magazine looks at the recent boom of modern African designers on the continent and internationally. From February’s ThisDay Arise Magazine African fashion event at NY Fashion Week to architect David Adjaye being appointed to design the new African-American National Museum in Washindton DC, the influence of modern African design in global culture continues to solidify. But while there are more and more role models for budding African designers, there’s still a long way to go before Africa itself recognizes and taps into it’s strong creative capital.
To become truly competitive though, the continent must do things in
its own way, with its own brand of excellence and innovation. Africans
can grasp the best of design worldwide, as well as the best the
continent has to offer and transform it into something new, compelling,
beautiful and sustainable. Small pockets of success show that African
design development has reached the point at which it can play a very
real role in addressing poverty and unemployment throughout the
continent. From craft initiatives in rural villages to
multi-disciplinary industrial projects that boast global collaboration,
design can boost a nation’s GDP. (more)
CNN also reports on a new contemporary African design aesthetic in the video below shot at the 2009 Design Indaba in S. Africa.