During my recent trip to South Africa I spent some time in Cape Town attending Design Indaba.
One stand that caught my attention was Li Edelkoort's curated 'Totemism: Memphis meets Africa' exhibition. I must confess I was not sure of the relevance however after reading about the Memphis Design Movement of the early 1980s it all made perfect sense.
South Africa's design movement started in the early 1990s with designers setting out to create an African style that was contemporary but also incorporated environmental elements, such as animals, masks, spears and the like. This early design style flourished to the point of saturation, it was then textiles turn with organic and earthy styles developed which then flowed into lifestyle and food.
These long lasting design trends are being re-invented and liberated just as the Memphis Design Movement did.
Li's exhibition shows us through stacking and layering objects of various materials, textures and colours, just like a totem, you can build and create with a spiritual connection.
[Images: © Kellie Shearwood]