A trio of initiatives putting far-flung artisans on the map

Standseven, Otago and Southern Guild gear great design to a global audience

Pieces made by artisans living in remote villages have long held an appeal to those living in the western world. The arrival of online trading has made it easier for their wares to be brought to a global audience and so to ensure their ancient skills survive.

Standseven, started by Angolan Ikena Carreira, instigates collaborations between makers from across the globe and well-known designers. Its current star is a minimalist stool made from recycled metals by David Adjaye (£920), as well as a line of chairs (from £470) and benches (from £970) designed for Moroso by such names as Tord Boontje (green Shadowy armchair, £1,420).


Otago, founded by British designers Anna Rose and Eddie Sercombe, works with marginalised communities, mostly in Kenya. Its lovely things include Dawa bottles (£79) made from recycled glass with brass stoppers, and its Shanga Ya Ngozi bottles (£135), also made from recycled glass but decorated with beading inspired by the necklaces worn by Turkana women.

Finally, Southern Guild gives South African designers a platform to showcase their wares at its Cape Town gallery and international design fairs. New this year is the Flore cabinet (£3,500, pictured), painted in two shades of green with a floral pattern on the front, and Table a Manger Beleza (£4,700), both by Hamad Ouattara from Burkina Faso. At Cape Town’s Guild fair in February there was also the Naw Naw chair (£2,000), made from fallen hardwood by Senegalese designer Babacar Niang. All can be ordered through Design Network Africa, which ships internationally.


For more covetable designs by under-the-radar international artisans, seee-store Dara Artisans, or Pippa Small’s range of jewellery created in collaboration with Afghan artisans.

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