AFRICA - A Designer’s Utopia 

(Design Competition)


This design competition encourages students from Ghana and Nigeria to think about design from a contextual approach.

“AFRICA—A DESIGNER’S UTOPIA”-competition is initiated in collaboration with Limbo Accra & nmbello studio to encourage students from Ghana and Lagos to think differently about design.
On an everyday basis, a good number of West African cities have a vast array of indigenous products that provide solutions to socioeconomic problems. These products are a necessity for the daily functionality of the city and in most cases, are designed and crafted around readily available materials and craftsmanship (be it a kit of parts or manufacturing). These products have also cemented themselves into the landscape of cities and in some cases, have travelled countrywide.

nmbello studio and Limbo Accra have come together to investigate the ecosystem around these products and understand the impact that urban planning has on the design, creation, building and distribution of these products through community networks. The research will demonstrate how ingenuity and indigenous design thinking is used to create and cater to stakeholders across a unique supply chain, highlighting Africa’s specific contribution to global conversations of design justice and design revolution that are felt and present even without the label of “design” being attached to it.

In lieu of launching this joint research project as a purely academic venture, a design competition has been initiated to encourage design students in Lagos and Accra to think about design with a contextual approach and create sustainable design while considering the manufacturing ecosystems of their city.

To achieve this, entrants are encouraged to collaborate with local craftsmen to create economically viable and long-lasting products for the home and the public urban domain. Students can submit a design proposal with a concept for a final product, with the final design speaking to readily available local manufacturing and production technique. Applications will be evaluated on the strength of the collaboration evidenced as well as the designs themselves.
Applicants do not need a prototype; the product will be developed with the nmbello Studio team. Principal juries include Virgil Abloh, Dong-Ping Wong & Lichen NYC to name a few. Winners are announced in February 2022 and an exhibition of final work at a group exhibition to take place in Accra, Ghana in 2022. Application deadline: 18th January 2022. 

Apply via this link -  SUMBIT