Although some of these designers do not live in Africa, their work revolve around recycling and reuse of complex materials to express a continual cycle of exchange.
1. Cheick Diallo: Born in Mali and trained as an architect and designer in France. He shares space with other Malian artists on the hills of Bamako. Diallo uses tires, bottles, computer batteries and soda cans molded by the wheels of the big trucks on the streets. These objects provide the raw material for his furniture. The results of his works make the raw materials used seem unbelievable. Well, his work has appeared in museums and he regularly exhibits at the Milan Furniture Fair.
2. Imiso Ceramics: Based in Cape Town, this design house was founded by: Andile Dyalvane, Zizipho Poswa, and Lulama seven years ago. At the inception, there was just a small stand and a (Department of Trade and Industry) subsidy: it has now grown into an internationally recognized fashion house. Imiso ceramics are inspired by nature.
3. Yinka Ilori: He describes his influences as both local and global. He dismantles the original components of furniture and reassembles the pieces. In his design: “Let There Be Light,” He turned the spokes of a broken chair on its side to create the space for a candle-holder. He finds beauty and purpose in the aesthetic of a mistake, rather than revel in standardization.
4. Ndidi Ekubia: Inspired by stories of livelihood in Africa told to her by a Nigerian-born mother, which shaped her creative process. In her interview with New York Times she said: “My work is quite emotional, and the character is quite strong. Africans in general are emotional people. They cry. They talk loud.”
Ekubia specializes in tableware, she hand-shapes steel into fluid forms, and then lets each piece rest before covering it in a brilliant sheet of silver. Using hammers of her own design in countless hours of toil, she beats the silver into place. It takes about weeks or months to complete each piece.
5. Bibi Seck: Born in Paris to a Senegalese family and based in New York. Inspired by a hand-weaving technique typically used for making fish nets, he produced the Madame Dakar collection for Moroso’s M’Afrque show at the 2009 Milan Furniture Fair. Seck went on to design the Taboo furniture collection for the Museum of Art and Design in 2010. Made from 75% recycled garbage bags and plastic bottles, each stool resembles the color of the plastic it was made with, creating an effect that’s reminiscent of the broken floor tiles of Dakar.