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Spotlight: The Urbanative’s Mpho Vackier Leaves Her Mark

Despite previously working as a process engineer in the mining industry, Mpho Vackier now finds fulfilment as a culturally-informed interior designer. Her work (as part of the Urbanative design brand) is inspired by the clean functionality of mid-century European furniture design coupled with the vibrant geometric style of Ndebele textiles.

Vackier is inspired by African cultural signifiers, patterns and graphic arrangements which she translates into contemporary urban pieces of furniture. Functionality, aesthetic balance and the space in which her creations would later reside all form part of the thought process as she fashions her household pieces out of steel and various kinds of wood.   “I love the visual tension created by contrasting elements, materials and ideas and the result thereof. I am also inspired by patterns in everything and I love translating those patterns into functional 3-D products.” The Urbanative is a furniture design brand that boasts a collection of talented multi-disciplinary designers, creators and makers that are all inspired by African ethnic patterns and motifs. They are constantly exploring how graphic cultural signifiers can be applied and reinterpreted to inspire new and modern product designs that are relatable and relevant to the urban modern citizen. “Ours is a quest to continuously celebrate culture by reinterpreting it to communicate across generations, as well as across nations. By reinterpreting these cultural signifiers we discover commonalities in multiple cultural signs and therein we begin a conversation where the importance of culture is celebrated but so is its evolution.”   With a firm belief in the idea and the benefits of collaborative working relationships, The Urbanative work with a range of talented multidisciplinary professionals to offer inspired and imaginative and multifunctional design solutions. Mpho Vackier has taken part in Emerging Creatives – an initiative by Design Indaba and the Department of Arts and Culture that has seen many contemporary South African creatives of note launching their careers through the platform. Mpho was one of 40 daring and innovative Emerging Creatives in 2017, who exhibited their work as part of the Design Indaba Festival.   “I love the stories and energy behind locally designed products. There is vibrancy and authenticity in the way that South African designers approach the creative process. There is also a culture of community wherein designers come together and feed off of each other’s energy that results in sophisticated and original products that have a unique global appeal,” explains Vackier. Contact: The Urbanative


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