In the fall of 2018, facilitated by RISD, I worked in collaboration with Mabeo Furniture in Botswana to design a family of rugs and stools.
The forms and patterns were born through the collaborative process as design sensibilities and cultural backgrounds were brought together and melded
in a 4 month long research project.
Image from diowestmo
The driving force behind the rugs was the possible collaboration between Mabeo Furniture and the local Oodi weavers. the collective has seen a decline in recent years and Peter Mabeo (owner of Mabeo Furniture) was looking to help them stay afloat by introducing a collaboration project that required minimal effort from them as possible. The rugs therefore had to be relatively minimal in design and use colors and materials readily available in the region.
The colors and designs were derived from images of the landscape and my own memories growing up on the African continent.
For example: the circle with a line passing through it harkens back to a memory of watching the sun set over the dessert and the sun reflected over the mirages in the sand.
THESE ARE THE RESULTING RUG DESIGNS:
The formal aspects of the stools compliment the patterning on the rugs.
Low to the ground and modern, the Windsor style building technique, turned elements and hand carved seat speak to the common making practices in Mabeo Studio.