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Design Week Lagos 2021 set to celebrate best contemporary African designs

...holds from October 21 to 31

Design Week Lagos (DWL), the leading design week in African is set to hold from 21st to 31st, October 2021 and will again present and celebrate the best in contemporary African design across categories while bringing international field leaders and visitors to experience the most exciting work from the region.

Founded by African design advocate Titi Ogufere, DWL was first established in 2019 as a citywide celebration held in Lagos, Nigeria over ten days, promoting creativity, innovation across disciplines, including architecture, industrial design, interior design, furniture design, graphics design, and technology.

Speaking during a press conference to announce the 2021 edition of DWL, Ogufere said the event will take place in various venues across the city of Lagos.

With the theme ‘Design Revolution,’ Ogufere noted that given the limitations of the global pandemic, this year’s program will be tight and targeted, with more robust digital components.

DWL is a growing annual celebration and convening, with core programs including a central exhibition showcasing new work from across the continent, an awards program, and a series of talks and lectures.

In addition to presenting new product design, DWL’s program highlights and explores new pathways in manufacturing methods, illuminating ingenuity and information sharing so that a growing community of contemporary designers can better tap into a rich history of craftsmanship and unique material knowledge across the continent.

Read Also: ‘Ability to merge western, African designs makes our bags appeal to customers across the world’

African designs

The festival is committed to building a culture of innovation in Lagos and promoting the city as an international hub for design. DWL was created by Titi Ogufere and Essential Media Group and is supported by the state government of Lagos.

Speaking on artists becoming more creative in Africa, Ogufere said some fashion designers are now exploring designing and going into interior at the same time.

“For us, the many creatives we have, the better. We don’t have Africans that are designing, so we want to encourage more Africans to design. If you look at Italy and the way they grew in this space, you will realise they have a design hub where they have designers and manufacturers together.

“There are also few artists that are designing products that are coming into the world of decor and designing pieces for people to see. So as long as you have the creative knowledge and you understand the engineering and product designs, you need to be encouraged and more people need to engage in product designs.

Speaking on her assessment of designing and interior decor space in Nigeria, she said designers have done a lot of work and people are looking at a lot of top fashion designers globally.

“For home decors and interiors, we are just starting. Last year after George Floyd died, there was a research that was done and it was one product designer that checked to 4,000 big brands that produced furniture, they only had 11 blacks, so people started asking why black designers are not being used and many of them started looking for black designers. So, black designers need to be ready to embrace what the world wants,” she said.

Some highlights of the 2021 DWL include Design kulture exhibition, DWL 2021 prize, Made by design docuseries launch for Netflix worldwide and IFI African Regional Roundtable.

The Design kulture exhibition is an annual showcase for sourcing furniture and design objects in Africa at White Space, an exhibition space run by A Whitespace Creative Agency. The exhibition is a meeting point for decision-makers in the design and manufacturing industry, and a bridge between manufacturers and design practitioners within the region, as well as international buyers, design enthusiasts, and collaborators.

This year’s exhibitors include Studio Lani, Nifemi Bello, Tosin Oshinowo, Olu Amoda, Damola Rufai, Tunde Owolabi, Aga Concept, Tekura, Osaru Alile, Titilailai, Demas Nwoko, Ozioma Onuzulike, Diseye Tantua, Belevence, and Mowarin Christian. There will also be special projects on view from Maki Oh and Adebayo Oke Lawal.

Each year, the DWL Student Competition takes place. Designers are asked to come up with solutions, to meet various needs of the people, the economy, and nations at large.

Made by Design is an original documentary series highlighting architects, interior and product designers in Africa. The first season focuses on a group of creative luminaries across categories living and working in Nigeria.

In collaboration with Design Week Lagos, the International Federation of Interior Architects / Designers (IFI) will host the IFI African Regional Roundtable on October 21, 2021.


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