Tag Archives: Africa

Revealed: Designs of the Year 2014: Design Museum / Makoko Floating School

Today The Design Museum  announced their nominations for the Design of the Year 2014 and one of the most innovative architecture designs has to be the Makoko Floating School, which is located in a lagoon in the heart of the city of Lagos, Nigeria. Designed by architecture / design practice NLE in collaboration with Makoko Waterfront Community (the area is described as being similar in functionality, if not looks, to Venice), the floating structure takes into account the community’s needs (for a school and social space) and the physical demands of their environment: increasing tropical rainfall and an increasingly urbanised population.

Lead by architect Kunle Adeyemi, this prototype building is sustainable, ecological and alternative: two classrooms above and a play area below ensure the available space is used thoughtfully:

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find the details / Makoko floating school / courtesy NLE architecturefind the details / Makoko floating school, courtesy NLE

[images courtesy of NLE, Iwan Baan]

Designs of the Year brings together 76 cutting edge, innovative and talented creations, with the best in world-wide architecture, fashion, product and digital design and more on show at the exhibition, which opens on 26 March (until 25 August) at the Design Museum on Shad Thames, London SE1. Head to the show and whilst there, vote for your favourite design; but if you can’t make it in person, the online Social Vote platform gives you a chance to have your say. On Twitter, follow #designsoftheyear and @designmuseum for current conversations.

On trend for summer 2013: coloured weaves

Just posting these pictures puts a spring in my step, as this summer’s emerging trend for colourful weaves gathers pace. First up are the wonderful baskets by Swaziland’s Gone Rural; set up by Philippa Thorne over 20 years ago, Gone Rural now supplies grass and textile woven products created by women in Swaziland to many hundreds of retailers all over the world. With many shapes and sizes to choose from, each basket will bring welcome pattern and colour:

Gone Rural - Bonakele block weave - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Block weave open baskets - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Bonakele lifeline baskets - lifestyle - Portrait (2)

Click Gone Rural to read more; to shop for their products try Shake The Dust, a new ethical design brand (shipping currently within the UK only).

On the high street, John Lewis‘s blue toned Navajo armchair and footstool (or side table) are perfect for a sunny afternoon:

John Lewis Spring Summer 2013

And Habitat‘s spring/summer range includes more than a nod to this trend.  If you’re quick you can still catch their Interwoven exhibition which celebrates the art of weaving for interiors, including vessels and baskets by Gone Rural alongside work by recent graduates from Central St Martins College of Art & Design. (Interwoven runs until 28 April at Habitat’s King’s Road showroom, London SW3). And in addition, Habitat’s Summer 2013 collection includes their own designs of woven furniture, baskets and vases:

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Shades of a rag rug: I love the multi-coloured woven surface of this day bed…

Whilst the Ormond hurricane lanterns and tea light holders are decorated with lacquered metal ribbons, woven and wrapped around glass.

And there are plenty of baskets in shades of fuschia, cherry and lime green for a splash of bright colour….

At Laura Ashley, the colours stay neutral, but these simple seagrass storage baskets with their fashionable dip dye look are perfect for muted, country schemes:

laura ashley baskets

Here’s to summer!

Earth houses in Burkina Faso

A quick, visual post, sharing pictures of these inherently, necessarily practical; beautifully and intricately decorated earth houses in Burkina Faso:

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Made from a mix of clay, soil, straw and cow dung, the mortar is layered to create walls thick enough to withstand both extreme heat and rain. What’s so immediately attractive are the intricate patterns: painted onto the walls with coloured mud and chalk, these give each hand-crafted house a unique character.

All pictures courtesy of Design Boom; see more pictures and text here