The Dwell 24: The Urbanative

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Johannesburg-based designer, Mpho Vackier, is all about practicality when it comes to her furniture design. Undoubtedly influenced by her original training as a mining engineer, she brings a sense of purpose to her work, which combines the familiar forms of European modernism with African design motifs.

With Urbanative, her furniture designs incorporate wide-ranging references to African culture, which result in pieces with a freshly eclectic perspective. The Oromo chair, for example, was largely inspired by the intricate lines of 19th-century Ethiopian and Kenyan hairstyles.

“It was such a mind-blowing experience to understand what people did to their hair,” Vackier says of the research she did for the piece. “I infused the energy of those lines, textures, and forms into my work.”

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