Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, we are honoring the rich contributions of Black designers to our community.

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Read on for just a few of the talented Black furniture and accessory designers, artists and makers that we are inspired by and proposing on upcoming projects. Interested in purchasing a piece from one of these individuals for your project? Contact us.


Ini Archibong

Designer Ini Archibong’s West African heritage energizes Knoll’s modern design legacy in his Iquo Café collection, featuring an elegant, curved silhouette. The collection—which provides a place to gather both indoors and out in hospitality spaces, offices, and on campus. It is named after three generations of Archibong women who share the name Iquo, and the design embraces the moniker’s feminine spirit in balancing elegant curvature.

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Bibi Seck

Co-founder of the award-winning design and innovation studio, Birsel+Seck, and the founder of Dakar Next, a design studio-laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, Bibi Seck is known for innovative and human centric design. Bibi designed Overlay for Herman Miller with Ayse Birsel to bring clarity and order to open-plan offices. They found inspiration in urban planning concepts and designed Overlay to create a pattern of integrated but distinctive settings to help people intuitively navigate the workplace.

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Nick Cave

Nick Cave works across both the visual and performing arts, tapping various media including sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance. Cave’s work is notable for bringing to light issues of race, social justice, and identity politics in the United States. One of his well-known fabric designs includes Guise, created by intricately layering multiple techniques and materials. Space-dyed, twisted novelty, and chenille yarns combine to create a top layer that pairs with a tafetta-like ground fabric that has a subtle sheen.

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Stephen Burks

Known for creating quirky pieces for high profile global clients, Stephen Burks runs his own studio, Stephen Burks Man Made, that works with brands to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation for manufacturers. Burks is one of the most recognized American industrial designers of his generation. He has collaborated with non-profits Aid to Artisans, Artesanias de Columbia, the Clinton Global Initiative, Design Network Africa and the Nature Conservancy and has worked as a product development consultant in countries like Australia, Columbia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal.

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Jomo Tariku

Born in Kenya and raised in Ethiopia, Jomo Tariku is the incredible designer behind the Watatu Stool series that was used in the movie Black Panther. Jomo is heralded for defining a new language of modern African design by synthesizing his experience of the continent’s diverse landscape, indigenous cultures, architecture, colors, artifacts, dresses, and hair styles. Jomo’s work is currently in the collection of major museums such as the Met and LACMA, and he is one of the co-founders of BADG (Black Artists + Designers Guild) which promotes the work of Black designers globally while addressing lack of representation in the design world.

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Kusheda Mensah

British-born Ghanaian designer puts exploring and examining how one can create an idyllic, yet fun and functional living environment at the root of her work. Mensah’s artistic remedy comes in the form of her interlocking modular pieces of furniture, representing the mutuality, connection and closeness shared between humans, as well as the human form itself. Mensah expresses her designs through bold abstract forms—zigzags, half moons, and waves—and bold colors. She recently showcased her work at the 21st edition of SaloneSatellite, held in Milan.

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Goodee is a community of socially-conscious design enthusiasts who put "caring" for people, and the planet, at the center of everything they do. They design by the belief that the products and services they champion supports their pursuit of a happier and more sustainable future for all.

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Oi Studio – BOA

Raised on St. John, US Virgin Islands, BOA is the founder and creative director of OI Studio. She is a self-taught furniture designer who, in the early 2000's spent the first few years of her design practice evangelizing an industry-wide shift to green design at a time when it was difficult to find materials, manufacturers, or clients that were open to making a change. BOA’s design aesthetic is an intersection of her reverence for nature, minimalism, and fine craftsmanship.

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Justina Blakeney

Justina Blakeney is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and New York Times Bestselling Author- and Founder and Creative Director of the home décor brand, Jungalow®. Her work follows the belief that good design increases the quality of life, that living energies (people, the pets, and biophilia) are what make a house a home, that color has the power to bring joy, that pattern is the spice of design, and that plants are magic. Justina’s work, which includes accessories, art pieces, rugs and textile, is inspired by her family, roots and world travels.

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A collaboration of Renita Woodson (Renita Falana Designs) and Carmen D. Harris (Imagine Me Free and Two Inches Beyond Black) that draws inspiration from ancestral traditions and a shared commitment to inclusivity, the Tate ottoman represents a harmony between mind, body, and workplace. Originally designed as a meditation tool, Tate features a unique 2-sided combination of memory foam and buckwheat hulls, fostering a blissful, peaceful state of mind. Tate's design truly was recognized with a Best of NeoCon Business Impact award in 2023.

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Charles O. Job

Charles O. Job was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Educated in architecture and urban planning, he has lived, worked and taught for many years in Switzerland. He is known for creating deceptively simple pieces, like the easy-to-assemble Sketch chair that is now in the Vitra Design Museum. Like many children of Africa of a certain generation, Charles would collect discarded objects, and re-assemble them into semblances of toys. This spirit of making do with what was readily at hand led him to create simple, minimalistic, accessible and easy to comprehend pieces.

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Jean Servais Somian

Born in 1971 in Ivory Coast, Jean Servais Somian is a designer, cabinetmaker and sculptor. He excels in the art of transforming wood, his favorite material. He lives to turn the western stereotypes of the Ivory Coast into visual celebrations and creates by mixing shapes and functions with color and culture. Having also studied in Switzerland and spending many years between Africa and Europe, his creations are varied, produced in small series and endowed with a strong personality, with both a sculptural and functionally utilitarian vibe.

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Miminat Shodeinde

British-Nigerian artist and designer Miminat Shodeinde is the founder of Miminat Designs, a London-based interior architecture and design studio creating functional art and relaxed elegant spaces. By blending the complementary and contradictory and embracing the integration of the old and the new, she creates timeless, immersive experiences, where art and architecture meet. Her sculptural design pieces break down the relationship between form and function, while her diverse influences and background inform her use of space through both form and placement.

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Michael Puryear

Michael Puryear is an internationally recognized designer/furniture maker. He is self-taught, learning his craft through reading and experimentation, and has been practicing his craft for more than 40 years. His inspiration is drawn from an early exposure and appreciation of the clarity and directness of Shaker and Scandinavian design, as well as the problem-solving aspect creating custom products for clients. Michael is a skilled maker in creating pieces that interface with how the human body interfaces with the object, moves around it, and uses it.

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