Africa Design Award is a platform of African design, a real melting pot where all the actors of design (designers, design agencies, companies have integrated the notion of design in their strategy of development, states, local communities, associations, architects, craftsmen, etc.), from the continent, to express it, know-how and highlight all their talent, creativity and vision in the service of Africa.
Africa as an emerging and future-oriented continent is experiencing an ambitious economic and social transformation, irresistibly guiding the continent towards the path of modernity and prosperity.
In this sense, Africa Design Awards act as a projector highlighting the African design project, which, in addition to having its place in the creative concert of nations around the world, is assured as the creative renewal of creativity for the benefit of the development of a sustainable and inclusive world.
Prof. Mugendi K. M’Rithaa is an industrial designer, educator and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He studied in Kenya, the USA, India and South Africa and holds postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Design and Higher Education, as well as a doctorate in Universal Design. He is widely traveled and has taught in Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Sweden and is passionate about various expressions of socially conscious (and responsible) design, including: Designerly Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change; Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability; Distributed Renewable Energy; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Participatory Design; and Universal Design.
Mugendi has a special interest in the pivotal role of design thinking in advancing the developmental agenda primarily on the African continent. He is associated with a number of international networks focusing on design within industrially developing (or majority world) contexts. Mugendi is also Africa’s first President of the World Design Organization™, formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Much of his work focuses on the importance of WDO in supporting the aspirations of younger designers worldwide.
Marva Griffin, Founder and Curator of Salone Satellite at Salone del Mobile, and International Press Relations of Fondazione Cosmit Eventi from Milan
In 1999 designer Carlo Contin had the idea to arrange a group of uniform spokes into a simple geometric form. The result was an ingenious fruit bowl that caught the eye of Marva Griffin Wilshire, curator of the Salone Satellite, the showcase of young talent at Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan’s International Furniture Fair.
Contin was invited to exhibit his dramatic centerpiece and, while walking the Fair, Paola Antonelli, senior curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, knew it would be a hit when she spied its unique shape. A year later the Satellite bowl was for sale at MoMA’s Design Store (where it remains one of MoMA’s staples) and Contin’s career had taken off.
Gilles Rougon is Head of Transverse Design within the Innovation Hub team of EDF R&D, based on energy issues. In collaboration with researchers, professions, integrated and external designers, he is in charge of defining and developing collaborative innovation approaches within research and operational projects.
After a two-fold formation of engineer (Centrale Lille) and designer (UTC) Gilles first collaborated with PSA Peugeot Citroën as an industrial designer. Gilles Rougon is one of the founding members of the design manager collective "designcode". He is currently a member of various boards of directors: WDO (World Design Organization), Ensad and APCI. He also speaks regularly as a lecturer and teacher.
Considering design as a lever for change and economic agility for organizations, from problem-solving to strategic repositioning, Gilles aims at a useful industrial creation for the end-user for all stakeholders.
Ralph Wiegmann, a first generation American-German, was born and raised in the mid-west. Many summers were spent with his family in the Rocky Mountain West. As a teenager, he studied violin, painting, drawing and ceramics at Interlochen Arts Academy.
Ralph studied Graphic Design at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and then moved into Fine Art at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he received his BFA in Painting & Drawing. After working several years in illustration, graphic design and set building in San Francisco, Ralph moved to Missoula, Montana to pursue his passion for painting. He received his MFA in Painting from the University of Montana in 1998. Ralph's abstract paintings are distinctly influenced by the open landscape of the American West. He lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife, artist Suzanne Truman.