Jomo Tariku Exhibits African-Inspired Seating at Design Miami 2022

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Jomo Tariku Exhibits African-Inspired Seating at Design Miami 2022

Ethiopian American industrial designer and artist Jomo Tariku exhibited four chair and stool designs in partnership with Wexler Gallery at Design Miami/ 2022. He’s best known for creating ergonomic furniture inspired by his African roots – from culture to architecture, landscapes to wildlife, and colors to hairstyles. Each of the four designs that debuted at Design Miami/ have been produced as a limited edition of 18 and are exclusively available through Wexler Gallery.

black chair with T-shaped back

Nyala Chair

Inspired by the elusive mountain antelopes found in the Bale Mountains of East Africa, the Nyala Chair’s hand-carved armrests and legs echo the animal’s horns and hind legs. The black ash furniture piece is carved and painted with white detailing that represents the markings on the Nyala’s nose and eyes. Its overall design blends a modern aesthetic with its own individuality.

black chair with T-shaped back

Nyala Chair

black chair with T-shaped back

Nyala Chair

black chair with T-shaped back

Nyala Chair

black chair with T-shaped back

Nyala Chair

black graphic chair with a U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

Featuring four interchangeable back designs and an array of colors, the Qwanta Totem Chair is the evolution of the African Birthing Chair. It’s simply constructed with a U-shaped base and a backrest that slides into it, requiring no extra hardware. This version is inspired by the Gurage culture from Central Ethiopia, while the swappable backrest totems can be found in many parts of Sub-saharan African countries. The backrests not in use can even be displayed as wall art.

black graphic chair with a U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

black graphic chair with a U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

black and orange chair that resembles and Afro Comb

Meedo Chair

The Meedo Chair immediately brings to mind the iconic Afro Comb. Crafted in ash black with orange trim, it combines its history with the African tradition of a ceremonial seat that signifies leadership, unity, and kinship. The use of Afro Combs goes back at least 6,000 years in Sudan, and has come to be a symbol of beauty, status, and vigor through the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movements.

black and orange chair that resembles and Afro Comb

Meedo Chair

detail of black and orange chair that resembles and Afro Comb

Meedo Chair

black and orange chair that resembles and Afro Comb

Meedo Chair

black and orange chair that resembles and Afro Comb

Meedo Chair

Mukecha Stool

The Mukecha is a multifunctional table/stool inspired by traditional mortars and pestles used to grind barley, wheat, and other crops. The heavy-duty tool is used by women to prepare flour in a time-consuming process that’s usually accompanied by synchronized singing. Tariku’s Mukecha has orange ring detailing as a nod to the neck rings that adorn bronze busts from The Kingdom of Benin.

black and orange hourglass-shaped stool with stacked books

Mukecha Stool

To learn more about Jomo Tariku’s four chairs, visit jomofurniture.com.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.

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