‘Africa’s designers don’t follow trends — they set them’

CNN: Where do you see African design in the next 10 years?

TW: No longer being seen as a trend, the next big thing, or being defined by clichés but as a thriving industry whose designers are visible on the world stage and on equal footing with their peers, looked up to for creating thoughtful, innovative designs that positively impact those who come into contact with them.

At a local level, although several designers featured in the book who have the means to do so have deliberately turned away, preferring to retain the artisanal aspects of their production processes, industrial manufacture will most likely increase if investment is made. The industry requires more investment and support from both the public and private sectors to help it develop and to put in place the systems to nurture the designers of the future, instilling in them the skills needed not only to design, but also to create the kind of design that addresses the needs of the continent. A number of the designers profiled in the collection and working on the continent have recognized this need, taking on apprentices who not only learn the creative skills, but also the skills required to one day establish their own design studios and pay it forward.

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