Celebrating Community

A product of collaboration and curation, the TOTEM Collection by Design Afrika
is a celebration of functional African art

Photography Suly Kuhn  Branding Haas Collective 

Design Afrika is a Cape Town based-design collective started by Binky Newman in 1995, inspired by the intricately woven baskets of the Hambukushu women in the Okavango Delta region in Botswana. The collective serves as more than just a brand that produces contemporary African design pieces but also strives to empower rural communities by providing a platform with which they may express their creativity
and engage in entrepreneurial initiatives.

TOTEM is a collaborative product collection curated by Design Afrika which tells the story of building community and showcasing functional African designs. It is a classic yet contemporary collection that tells the story of the timeless importance of community and collaboration. TOTEM is informed by the works of industry legends and emerging creatives alike, and has encouraged a conversation surrounding the way in which craft and ideas are past from generation to generation.  

The collection draws influence from West African design in its bold and distinctive shapes paired with natural earthy colours.
TOTEM brings the art of not only local designers to light but also works from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

The collection is greatly informed by Binky Newman’s travels throughout the African continent, who says ‘ TOTEM draws inspiration from the many cultures that I meet whilst working in Africa. The respect for the land, the honouring of the ancestors and the huge respect for the elderly’.

‘Totem is about loyalty to your clan.’

-Binky Newman

The TOTEM collection features the works from:

To see more follow Design Afrika on Instagram or visit their website.