Behind the Design: Artist and Designer Gladys Macharia

Designed exclusively for URBANARA by Kenyan designer Gladys Macharia, the winner of our African Designers for Tomorrow competition, the Awasi Table Linen is a limited edition collection, available exclusively at URBANARA.

Africa Rebranded

The aim of the competition was to rebrand Africa, and to highlight the talent and rich cultural landscape the continent has to offer. Gladys’ designs do just that. Simple, elegant, and summery, this fresh design draws from Africa’s richly-coloured landscape to produce a collection that is contemporary, yet reminiscent of Kenya’s culture and tradition; each stitch and each hand-embroidered bead testament to the country’s artisan history.

Artist and Designer Gladys Macharia

“The city of Nairobi holds a lot of meaning for me as this where my artisans reside,” said Gladys. “Each component of the homeware collection is sourced from a different street in town, meaning that each table brings together a network of thriving tradesmen and women – as well as artisans – who provide me with the best of materials and skills to enable a beautiful collection.”

This week, we are very excited to announce that her handmade tableware collection is available to buy for a limited time. The collection – proof that Africa can be a source of design inspiration for the world – has been “pre-tested” to work at home.

“My dining table is where I dream up inspiration for my next collections. By testing new designs and pieces with family and friends around the dinner table, we can see how they feel in the home. Designing homewares is actually a great excuse to spend quality time with friends and family.”

Waridi Schrobsdorff, founder of FA254, and Claire Davidson, co-founder and Marketing Director of URBANARA, realised the competition, and felt that Gladys’ designs were an excellent fit for the Spring Summer Collection. Whether at her own dining table or at Trattoria, the oldest Italian restaurant in the capital and her self-described ‘slice of Italy in Nairobi’, it’s clear that Gladys created her designs with care and detail, and produced a collection that speaks volumes of the rich culture and landscape of the African continent.

The Awasi Table Linen is now on sale exclusively at URBANARA.