At home with Waridi Schrobsdorff: African Designers for Tomorrow

With the aim of changing the lens through which we see Africa, the African Designers for Tomorrow competition (ADFT) brought forth dozens of African designers who drew inspiration from the rich culture of Africa to create versatile, contemporary designs. We are now delighted to present the winning collection by Gladys Macharia, available for a limited time exclusively at URBANARA.

To introduce this gorgeous, hand-made collection, we spoke with founder of FA254 and directress of the competition, Waridi Schrobsdorff, in her beautiful Berlin home, and admired Gladys’ work first-hand.

FA254 founder Waridi Schrobsdorff

It’s like Summer has taken a place at your table! It looks so inviting!

Doesn’t it! The fabrics and patterns are perfect for breakfast or a light summer dinner,” Waridi said. “For me, the collection looks gorgeous against dark wood – the combination of light and bright with dark and solid is so striking.

Gladys told us that she conceived her designs on her own dining table at home in Nairobi, and that she’d “tested” them with friends and family. What’s your verdict?

Gladys is perfectionist. I saw how passionately she goes to work – she’s a true artist at heart. She is also trained as a goldsmith, so she’s used to working with delicate and fine designs. The outcome is an understated design with a huge attention to detail.

Like the table runner?

Exactly. It’s my absolute favourite piece. The beads are embroidered by hand! It looks so light and reminds me of running water. This fluid element is repeated in the blue striped pattern. It’s calming yet striking.

Do you find this a versatile design?

Yes, I think the collection will work in every home because it’s not imposing, but nonetheless makes a design statement. The collection is traditional but has a modern twist, and displays a well-conceived balance between the traditional and the contemporary. It’s something that stood out for me during the competition.

Is there another “African Designers for Tomorrow” on the cards?

We have some smaller projects in the pipeline that will also aim to highlight the craftsmanship of our continent – but nothing quite as large as the ADFT competition. But thanks to the support of URBANARA, we’re a lot closer to our goal of ADFT: Designs from Africa, which is to share the richness of Africa with the rest of the world, and to highlight the creative talent of people living there. [/raw]

The Awari Table Linen is a limited addition collection, available exclusively at URBANARA.