Who I Am, And What I Do

I am Tapiwa Matsinde a London-based curator, author, publisher – passionate about design, creativity, culture, and branding. I specialize in researching and promoting contemporary design and creativity from Africa, helping to bring the work of talented designers, makers, and creatives from the continent and diaspora to the attention of diverse global audiences. I do this by writing industry related articles and profiles; offering individuals and organizations insights into the contemporary African design markets, and advising creative entrepreneurs and brands on strategies to position their businesses for success.

I am the author of Contemporary Design Africa, and the founder of the Atelier Fifty Five a platform that spotlight Africa’s design, and Shoko Press, an independent publisher of art books about contemporary African creativity.

[Main image: ©Mike Turner Photography

Contemporary Design Africa

Contemporary Design Africa is the first book to offer a survey of modern design emerging from the continent. It is packed with works that show how Africa’s rich array of craft traditions are being preserved and revived with an exciting contemporary twist. An introductory section identifies the sophistication, vitality, diversity, and soulfulness of the past that is now being harnessed to develop a diverse contemporary African identity. Sections on furniture, textiles, ceramics, basketry, and lighting bring together the work of respected designers, makers and organizations based on the African continent or part of the diaspora. Celebrating the wider changes occurring across Africa, the fifty or so designers and crafters included have been chosen for their innovative approach to creating sophisticated products. Many of the pieces demonstrate how sustainability and recycling are often of the utmost importance. The book is completed by a glossary and bibliography.

Published by Thames & Hudson Contemporary Design Africa is available from Amazon and other good book retailers.

African Design Book Tapiwa Matsinde




“ African design is garnering ever-greater attention in the West and now new book ‘Contemporary Design Africa’ … celebrates the best”

–       Elle Decoration

“Tapiwa Matsinde has teamed up with celebrated UK publisher Thames and Hudson to tell the stories of some outstanding African designers.”

– The World of Interiors

“A well-crafted, comprehensive guide.”

– Dynamic Africa




My Platforms

Atelier Fifty-Five Logo


Atelier Fifty Five is a platform dedicated to celebrating contemporary African design. It serves as a handy research tool and an informative, inspirational resource offering readers an insight into the producers shaping modern African design.


Shoko Press Logo

Shoko Press is an independent publishing house of art books about Africa’s creativity and modern cultures. It was founded on a mission to discover, share and help preserve the creativity emanating from, and inspired by the continent.



I predominately write about contemporary African design, lifestyle and culture, and have written for a range of industry publications including Design Indaba and MOYI, which I serve as a contributing  Writer and Product Features Editor.




MOYI Magazine “A Charming Easter Table

Lionesses of Africa “Africa’s leading women designers, makers, and crafters attract global interest

Design Indaba “Marching To Her Own Afrobeat” Textile designer, Buki Akib profile


Curation & Advisory

Drawing on my insights into the African design industry and links to producers and industry practitioners, I offer a dedicated Curation & Advisory service working with organizations ranging from galleries to retailers providing a range of services that include: curation, research, and product sourcing.





Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded! an exhibition presented by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) explores the subject of rubbish and presents approaches to using trash to create valuable products. I curated the section dedicated to upcycling in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Sanlam Handmade
Contemporary Fair


Appointed 2017 guest curator for the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase,  hand selecting a group of new, exquisite Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent.




Consultancy For Creative Entrepreneurs And Brands

Having formerly worked as a graphic designer and brand guardian for blue-chip and luxury sector organizations, and in response to frequently asked questions about the design industry and brand positioning, I have packaged my skills and experiences into a range of tools designed to help creative entrepreneurs of small to medium enterprises who are looking to position their businesses for success in their local and global target markets. Tools offered include guidance on developing a brand strategy, conducting market research, book publishing tips, and one-to-one consultancy sessions to discuss specific concerns.


[Image credit: Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash]


Contact Me

If you are interested in working with me, have a question or just want to say hi do get in touch!

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