There are loads of adjectives that can be used to describe Southern African design in all it’s forms. Resourceful, diverse, creative, inventive, ingenious. Africanismo focuses on interiors in Southern Africa and what struck me most while paging through the book … Continued
There are loads of adjectives that can be used to describe Southern African design in all it’s forms. Resourceful, diverse, creative, inventive, ingenious. Africanismo focuses on interiors in Southern Africa and what struck me most while paging through the book was the diversity.
All the other adjectives still apply of course, but the sheer range of styles from slick to shabby chic are mind boggling! It’s clear that natural elements have inspired the majority of designs and that is presented in the book with chapters marked earth, air, water and fire. Colours appear natural, even in instances where you would never imagine 2 garish colours could compliment each other. Much like in nature, they blend and work together to make even the simplest home a work of art. Textures are used to mimic organic shapes and make your fingers itch with the need to run your hands over a rough wall finish or fluffy woollen throw.
Patterns and symbols are used decoratively, but for me they are reminiscent of hieroglyphics and a time when symbols were imbued with meaning, which only serves to add to the warmth and “African-ness” of the home.
Of course, Africa is known for it’s ingenuity. This has been proven time and time again by many a Land Rover that has broken down in the middle of nowhere, only to have a local “mechanic” create a substitute car part out of a wire coat-hanger and some gum MacGuyver style and wave them on as they continue their journey. This creativeness and inventiveness abounds in the more rural areas where people use the materials most readily available to them, making for a unique and beautiful aesthetic.
Africanismo reflects the design inherent in South Africa’s multi-cultural society, as well as the diverse natural beauty of the country, which has a huge influence on how we live. Inspiration is unlimited and lies within the pages of Africanismo, a snapshot of the diversity and uniqueness in Southern Africa.
Africanismo is available from all good bookstores. Click here for more information.
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