The Anglo-Ghanaian designer gets inspiration from ‘Adinkra’ symbols and celebrates African design

Ghanaian-born and London-raised textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah, is on the jury of this year’s Archiproducts Design Awards.

Chrissa Amuah is founder and creative director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand. Her work is inspired by the typical Ghanaian symbols representing concepts or aphorisms widely used in fabrics, logos, ceramics and wall decorations.

After the summer, we will discover the winners of the new edition of the Archiproducts Awards.

In the meantime, we asked the jurors what they expect from this year’s entries. Chrissa Amuah is the subject of this week’s appointment.

 

Interview with Chrissa Amuah, member of the jury of the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards

What do you expect from the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards submissions, and what features should the winning products have?

This last year had profound impacts on all of us. But as terrible as these events have been, they have also inspired great innovation. I will be looking for work that speaks to this in this year’s projects. I hope the entries explore our human potential for reflection and constructive disruption of the status quo.

 

What role do you think a Design Award should play today?
A design award should reward excellence. It should reward what is bold, beautiful and well made and conceived. Design awards should always be apolitical.

 

How should contemporary design evolve to meet the needs of the community?
The evolution of product design should inspire new lifestyles. I would like to see the design culture of the Global North challenge the problematic aspects of mass production and its impact on the environment. I would like to see us foster a design culture that makes it a priority to find real solutions for human and social well-being.

 

In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a ‘new normal’?
Design can begin to define new normalities in a post-pandemic world by asking different questions and being genuinely willing to listen to real answers.

 

How do you think the pandemic has affected design?
There have been some wonderful examples of innovation during the pandemic.

 

Registration for the 2021 edition of the Archiproducts Design Awards is open!

 

APPLY NOW!

 

About Chrissa Amuah

Although she was born and raised in London and has roots in Ghana, Togo and Benin, it is Ghana that provides most of her design inspiration. Chrissa Amuah graduated from the renowned Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London.

Chrissa Amuah, photo by Spark Creative

In 2017, she founded AFRICA BY DESIGN to showcase and celebrate the best African design talents and help the develop international business opportunities.
AFRICA BY DESIGN seeks to rekindle a sense of pride, innovation and emotional conviction. Since its beginnings, AFRICA BY DESIGN has exhibited in five cities on four continents.

 

Chrissa is a frequent speaker at design gatherings. In March 2018, she was invited by the legendary auction house Sotheby’s to moderate the conversation, “African Art & Design: Beyond A Trend”, exploring the global significance of African art and design.

 

In December 2020, Chrissa made her Design Miami/ debut with Freedom To Move, sponsored by Lexus, “a headwear collection that explores the idea of protection and celebration, as well as function and aesthetics.”


Freedom to Move by Tosin Oshinowo and Chrissa Amuah, inspired by Lexus. Ogun. Photo by © Mark Cocksedge

Inspired by the global shake-up of 2020, “the headpieces are conceived as an alternative to the face masks that have become necessary and ubiquitous, while artistically celebrating the collective desire to move together freely and safely around the world”. 

‘A Sense of Duality’, Chrissa’s collaboration with Bernhardt Design, launched in April 2021.

Duality Collection, Bernhardt Designs

Together with architect Alice Asafu-Adjaye, Chrissa was selected to represent Ghana at the London Design Biennale 2021.


Amplify, Ghana pavilion – London Design Biennale 2021 – Photo credit: Dean Hearne


Amplify, Ghana pavilion – London Design Biennale 2021 – Photo credit: Dean Hearne


Chrissa Amuah, Photo credit: Dean Hearne

Asanka Coffee Table, AMWA Designs - Photo credit: by Simon Lyle Ritchie

Asanka Coffee Table, AMWA Designs – Photo credit: by Simon Lyle Ritchie

Asanka Coffee Table, AMWA Designs - Photo credit: by Simon Lyle Ritchie

Asanka Coffee Table, AMWA Designs – Photo credit: by Simon Lyle Ritchie

Duality Collection, Bernhardt Designs

Duality Collection, Bernhardt Designs

Duality Collection, Bernhardt Designs

Duality Collection, Bernhardt Designs