Why Design matters in Africa
It's been a year we revealed our furniture line "Kubaka". It was the first, and still the only furniture line, 100 % made in Rwanda. At George Pericles we are very proud of this achievement.
We have been amused by the reaction of the visitors of our exhibition last year. Some of them couldn't believe our furnitures were made in Rwanda as the New Times wrote :
“I realised that these products are good not only by looks, but the quality is quite impressive,” said James Mutabazi, who attended the launch.
Today most of the furnitures, with high added value, bought in Rwanda are imported. We selected talented wood-workers and weaving cooperative to collaborate with us. We trained them, we shared with them our vision. But mostly, we learn from their know-how experience. It took time and a lot of efforts. Kubaka is the result of this exchange, this two-sided learning process.
We believed it's possible to use the Rwandan craftsmanship and the local culture to develop a new design vocabulary. Kubaka shows us we were right.
Design isn't just a superficial luxury self-centered world for some happy few. High-end Design has the power to create jobs, to preserve knowledge and transmit it to the new generations.
Design is often relegated to second place when talking about Africa's development. How can Africa can build its future without a Design Industry preserving and modernizing the continent rich heritage ? Kubaka is just a small step towards it