Moran Munyuthe
nAnA 2019 NEON ©


Gentrification is an issue that has been recognised in cities around the world and though it has been slower to occur in Africa, it’s threatening to endanger local creative heritage and cultural traditions. Globalisation and mass manufacturing has made products a symbol of the culture we are heading towards, one of homogenised creativity.

NEON will travel to Kenya to collaborate with 98 Crafted to explore and promote the role of heritage and culture in design. The project will begin with a period of research where the participants will learn about local habits, and how they affect form, function and materiality of objects. After the research NEON will design a series of objects in collaboration with local artisans curated by 98 Crafted. The project will result in an exhibition as part of Nairobi Design week and Design Week Addis Ababa as well as a series of short films to be published and viewed globally.

The British Council has awarded NEON x 98 Crafted the new Art new Audiences grant

Through discussions at the concept stage NEON and 98 Crafted have realised heritage in design is much more than a visual language. Local habits of eating, sleeping, sitting and celebrating have made chairs, bowls, clothes and sheets different in different cultures. Globalised design products are missing these functions which can be even more relevant to a cultural identity than traditional colours or a visual language.

UK based architecture, art and design practice NEON and Kenyan design and furniture company 98 Crafted are collaborating on a project that focuses on the role of heritage and culture in design. The project is created as a part of Nairobi Design Week and Design Week Addis Ababa.

Are you an artist interested in Architecture, Design and Fashion? 

The British Council Architecture Design Fashion team produce, commission and coordinate a diverse array of projects linking designers and cultural institutions around the world. Have a look at the International Fashion Showcase and our diverse programmes partnerships with cultural institutes, festivals and embassies.