4 Great Books About African Design
Africa has always been a continent of creation. For centuries, its cultural richness has inspired the world. Here is a selection of books that highlight the beauty and the great potential of African design.
"Today more and more of us are striving to bring personal meaning and beauty into our lives and homes. African style is the perfect way to express that joy in living, whether your look is formal, traditional, minimal, casual country, or eclectic," writes Sharne Algotsson in her stunning new book, African Style: Down to the Details. Following on the success of her first book, The Spirit of African Design, written with Denys Davis, Sharne now offers a gorgeous, hands-on guide to decorating any home with the richness of Africa.
Swahili Chic unveils an exotic approach to gracious living from a 2,000-year-old culture rich in beauty and sophistication. In this gloriously illustrated book, world traveler and style expert Bibi Jordan introduces Swahili shule--the Swahili school of design, architecture, and graceful living that instills a sense of simplicity, sensuality, and spirituality to any interior. Travel from the coral atoll islands of East Africa to the warm trade winds of the Indian Ocean and discover the land where African kings, Arabian sultans, Chinese sailors, American whalers, and French pirates met to trade jewels,spices, and colorful fabrics.
Finally a book on African design that celebrates the contemporary! It is packed with works that show how the continents rich array of craft traditions are being preserved and revived with an exciting contemporary twist. An introductory section identifies the sophistication, vitality, diversity and soulfulness of the past that is now being harnessed to develop a contemporary African identity. Sections on furniture, textiles, ceramics, basketry and lighting bring together the work of respected designers, makers and organizations based on the African continent or part of the diaspora. Celebrating the wider changes occurring across Africa, the fifty or so designers and crafters included have been chosen for their innovative approach to creating sophisticated products. Many of the pieces demonstrate how sustainability and recycling are often of the utmost importance. The book is completed by a glossary and bibliography.
Over the past decade, Africa has experienced a tremendous political, economic and technological transformation. Spearheading this shift is a new generation of entrepreneurs and doers who have opened up a fresh view of this vast and diverse continent, using the Internet to make themselves visible. Developed in collaboration with renowned curator Okwui Enwezor, Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design embraces this new perspective, seeking to reveal the continent as a thinktank and investigating the intriguing possibility of a new understanding of design.