The Patewo Chair is inspired by the intricate beauty of the Patewo hairstyle.

Salu Iwadi Studio, a design studio based between Dakar and Lagos, was founded in 2023 by architect, designer and artist Toluwalase Rufai, and brand strategist and curator Sandia Nassila with the belief that design is a powerful medium for storytelling and connection.


Dedicated to uncovering and celebrating the rich heritage of the African diaspora, Salu Iwadi’s first piece is a functional piece of furniture and a captivating work of art that pays homage to Nigeria’s rich cultural tapestry. With its bold lines, dynamic shapes and rich textures, the Patewo Chair is inspired by the traditional Nigerian hairstyle named after the word for ‘clap your hands’ or ‘applause’ in Yoruba. The gesture symbolises support and solidarity, because of how the braids are woven together. ‘Patewo’ acts as a metaphor in which an iconic style represents the gesture of interlocking hands, and as such, a gesture of support. 


‘Our mission is to blend modern innovation with historical methodologies, creating objects, spaces, and experiences that pay homage to the diverse and vibrant heritage of the various cultures of the continent,’ writes Salu Iwadi Studio. ‘We strive to bridge the gap between the past, the present and the future, weaving narratives that transcend time, space and place.’ 


The chair’s frame is constructed from sleek, curved steel, echoing the

Fluidity, graceful contours and movement of the Patewo hairstyle while also providing ergonomic support and comfort for the seated individual. 


‘The chair’s form and composition are designed to evoke a sense of movement and dynamism, as if the members are in constant motion, dancing and swaying with the rhythm of life in equilibrium. This dynamic quality symbolises the resilience and vitality of Nigerian culture, as well as the ever-evolving nature of identity and self-expression,’ explains the studio. 


Through its evocative imagery and rich symbolism, the chair invites viewers to reflect on the beauty of cultural heritage, the power of self-expression, and the importance of honouring traditions in a rapidly changing world.



Africa is now 




Ancestral threads