French-African designer Cheik Diallo has no interest in the kind of design that simply remakes things that already exist. Instead he is focused on pushing the boundaries of established design traditions, with a keen interest in transforming traditional African design into something original, expressive and cosmopolitan.
Based in Bamako, the capital of Mali, Diallo organises workshops with groups of local artisans, engaging them to create a collection of seats made in multi-coloured nylon strings twisted over a recycled metal structure. This activity contributes towards a new direction for local economic development through design. Diallo aims, with his designs, to bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern sensuality to create, instead, a new understanding of Africa and African design.
At the Milan Furniture Fair last month, Diallo showcased a collection of work title Design Made in Africa at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.