Highlights from Design Week Lagos 2023

Design Week Lagos

The fourth edition of Design Week Lagos, held from October 19-22 at Lekki’s Livespot Entertarium, proved to be a magnificent fusion of African creativity and artistic innovation. Curated by the celebrated Nigerian architect and designer Charles O Job, the event bore the theme “African Design, The Future,” bringing together design enthusiasts and creatives for a four-day extravaganza of unparalleled innovation and cultural celebration.

This year’s event was nothing short of a medley of visual therapy, an antidote to the bustling Lagos heat and the city’s notorious traffic congestion. It became a place where the past, present, and future of design converged, offering a feast for the senses and inspiring conversations through immersive installations, engaging panel talks, and a stunning array of designs that celebrated the richness of African culture.

Highlights:

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Enlightening Panel Discussions:

The heart of Design Week Lagos lay in its enriching panel talks and discussions. Tosin Oshinowo, an esteemed architect, explored the concept of “An Alternative Urbanism,” shedding light on the potential for development and innovation, particularly within countries in the global south. The conversation delved into new horizons, presenting innovative solutions to age-old urban challenges.

Malik Afegbua’s discussion on the “Intersection of AI and Design” sparked intrigue among attendees, offering a glimpse into the future where artificial intelligence and design collide. This dialogue epitomized the cutting-edge direction of the design industry and underscored the event’s commitment to exploring the uncharted territories of creativity.

Curator Charles O. Job, known for his groundbreaking approach to design, personally engaged the audience, steering conversations toward fresh perspectives on African design and its promising future.

Showcasing Exquisite Designs:

The exhibition floor at Design Week Lagos 2023 was a testament to the ingenious creativity of African designers. Myles Igwe’s “Ulo Oma” chair, made from repurposed food tins, stood as a powerful symbol of sustainability and reverence for local culture. Igwe’s innovative creation drew inspiration from the resourcefulness of local women who use empty tins as measuring cups, turning a mundane item into a design masterpiece.

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“Amahle” by Zonna. Photography courtesy of Zo Culture.

Zonna’s “Amahle” collection showcased tufted furnishings and accents, reflecting abstract shapes and tufting techniques. The collection exuded minimalistic elegance and offered soothing additions to any space, blending traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design.

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Lagos Light Series by Hot Wire Extensions. Photography by Wami Aluko.

Hot Wire Extensions’ “Lagos Light Series,” a result of a month-long residency supported by Pro Helvetia, featured handbag-shaped bulb lamps created from a mixture of sand and plastic, pushing the boundaries of sustainable design.

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B1 Bench by Temitope Elshabazz. Photography by Ifedolapo Arolawun.

Temitope El-shabazz’s “B1 Bench” defied traditional definitions, offering a multi-functional design that served as a sitting bench, console, or plant stand. The blend of colors and the conscious decision to create something different challenged preconceived notions of furniture design.

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Variant Present Flat Face Furniture by Deoye Bammeke. Photography by Ifedolapo Arolawun.

Deoye Bammeke’s “Variant Present Flat Face Furniture” surprised attendees with a collection that showcased varied functionality, rooted in a no-nails woodworking technique. The contemporary pieces featured unique patterns and geometrical carvings, breaking away from the conventional and infusing personality into each design.

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Limpetia Orb Light, Sailors Mirror by Franuel Eco Furniture Studio. Photography by Franuel Eco Furniture Studio.

Franuel Eco Furniture Studio introduced the “Limpetia Orb Light,” a biomimicry-inspired lamp woven from jute fibers, replicating the intricate patterns of a cobweb. The studio also presented a nautical “Sailors Mirror,” both items demonstrating the studio’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional design concepts.

Tech-Infused Art:

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(Image credit: Courtesy Design Week Lagos)

Slickcity brought technology to the forefront, allowing attendees to experience art in motion. Malik Afegbua’s tech-generated art, which gained global recognition, was on display. This time, viewers could scan a code to immerse themselves in a world where traditional Nigerian fashion met modern technology. The addition of games and documentaries on design, art, and textiles offered a virtual reality experience that left attendees awestruck.

Collaborative Masterpieces:

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(Image credit: Courtesy Design Week Lagos)

Collaboration took center stage as Precise, Alneli, and Bellamai joined forces to create a luxurious bedroom installation. The installation featured an oversized bed, a neighboring bathtub, a meeting chamber, and stylish, neutral-colored sofas. The lighting arrangements added an indulgent touch, creating a captivating ambiance in one corner.

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(Image credit: Deji Oluokun)

Sporting Lagos and Belonwus collaborated to blend design, sport, and fashion, creating football wearables that celebrated the universal love for the sport. This project aimed to build a thriving community around football, bridging differences seamlessly through the shared passion for the game.

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Vivano X Color Sense X Literior Installation. Photography courtesy of Vivano X Color Sense X Literior.

Vivano, Color Sense, and Literior Nigeria united in a captivating installation, offering an illusion wall in multiple colors, a room adorned with artificial plants, and a space filled with Literior Nigeria’s latest light collections. This collective presentation was a testament to the harmonious interplay of art, design, and illumination.

A Gravity-Defying Surprise:

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(Image credit: Courtesy Design Week Lagos)

Spazio Ideale, an interior design studio, introduced a gravity-defying installation that caught the attention of celebrities and creatives. The unexpected addition of such innovative designs added an interactive dimension to Design Week Lagos, highlighting the event’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Design Week Lagos 2023 was not just an event; it was a convergence of culture, innovation, and boundless potential for African design. The fusion of tradition, sustainability, and cutting-edge technology showcased the breadth of creativity within the African design community. As the event concluded, the legacy of Design Week Lagos continued to inspire, leaving attendees with a profound sense of the exciting future awaiting the world of design.

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