Tribal design has been en vogue for quite some time now. The graphic patterns and muted hues formed the ideal counterpart for mid-century modern design.

Judging by this year’s 100% Design exhibition, Pan-African design has found its own colourful voice. This new generation of eclectic Afro-chic designs is characterised by bold patterns, geometrical shapes and saturated, vivid colours. Designers fused African-inspired aesthetics with contemporary designs to form a fresh, unique narrative. Inspired by Africa’s diversity, this traditional-meets-modern trend was articulated in interesting, unexpected ways.

Greeting visitors in the foyer area of the show was 100% Colour presented by Plascon and curated by Cathy O’Clery of Platform Creative Agency. Four installations guided by the compass directions – North, South, East and West – represented the four corners of the continent. “Each region has a unique spirit,” says Cathy, “and the stands reflected that in representational colours and decor schemes.”

These vivid colours and bold designs clearly showed that African design has moved beyond its tribal roots. We hope this evolutionary optimism will flood the international design scene with a new wave of colour and pattern.