10 african tastemakers design a collection for ikea

March 01, 2019

words by: Bere Wangge

Ten African creatives are about to get a much-deserved recognition when their furniture collection hits all IKEA stores later this year. Making its debut at 2019 Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, the collection, named ÖVERALLT, was two years in the making. 

The tastemakers presented their designs at 2019 Design Indaba

The tastemakers presented their designs at 2019 Design Indaba

Back then, IKEA approached Design Indaba to connect their Stockholm-based five designers with African tastemakers. The festival curated and finally chose 10 people from five African countries as representatives. They are Issa DiabatéSelly Raby Kane, Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner, Bibi Seck, Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad, Renee RossouwSindiso Khumalo and Laduma Ngxokolo. “Because they are a furniture company, we didn't necessarily go and pick furniture designers," says Design Indaba’s founder Ravi Naidoo as quoted from Dezeen. "We actually picked good thinkers. We just went across and found people who are really getting out there, taking risks and expressing themselves, and who represented the best of the African creative bug.” 

Consisting of furniture, tableware, textiles, and a sustainable tote bag, among others, the collection is centered around the concept of bridging people, much like the project itself. The pieces are made to encourage people to socialize around them and, more importantly, to convey the African aesthetic. 

A standout object is a basket by Selly Raby Kane, whose design is made to resemble braided hair.

design indaba x ikea ÖVERALLT 10 african creatives - basket by selly raby kane.jpg

Architect Issa Diabaté presents a chair that is made from a single sheet of plywood, while Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad of Reform Studio use crisps packets, known for being difficult to recycle, to design a tote bag and jute rug. 

design indaba x ikea ÖVERALLT 10 african creatives - single plywood chair by issa diabaté.jpg
design indaba x ikea ÖVERALLT 10 african creatives - sustainable tote bag by mariam hazem and hend riad of reform studio.jpg

Other creators, Renée Rossouw and Sindiso Khumalo, have created textiles whose patterns are based on Africa’s nature. Likewise, fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo translates his signature geometric patterns from his knitwear line into a colorful rug.  

design indaba x ikea ÖVERALLT 10 african creatives - rug by laduma ngxokolo.jpg

ÖVERALLT will be available starting May. Following its unveiling, the collection was exhibited during 2019 Design Indaba Festival that ran from February 27 until March 1. Held annually, the festival comprises conferences, in addition to seminars and workshops, to celebrate design and creativity as well as showcase the hottest and most relevant talents.