Its In Our DNA

Posted by Mary Bosibori on

In a little over a weeks time, the Graphic Africa Exhibition in conjunction with Design Network Africa (DNA), Habitat, and London Design Festival kicks off, and we’re part of it!

DNA was set up by the Centre for Cultural Development (CKU) and Source, in Denmark and South Africa respectively. The aim of DNA is to create a strong professional network of African designers where the ultimate goal is to broaden networks, gain global attention, and expand product range.

Adèle is the only member of DNA that is a jewellery and accessories designer, and so, has been selected to showcase among interior designers for the London event.


At the DNA workshop in Accra, Ghana last year

In 2012 Adèle traveled to Accra, Ghana, for the first DNA workshop. Here, Adèle was introduced to other African designers from across the continent. The aims of the workshop were to introduce designers to one another and speak about their company, situation and long term goals.


Adèle and the photographer at DNA in Ghana

Following the workshop, and after the first exhibition, Adèle traveled to Dakar, Senegal. Here, she came across artisans that were highly skilled in leather work, furniture, and jewellery making. Adèle has always had a penchant for unusual jewellery pieces and as a child, scoured the markets for them.


Bakuba cloth from Boubacar Doumbia, DNA Ghana, laid out ready to become something beautiful!


Boubacar Doumbia cloth from the DNA exhibition


The Boubacar Doumbia cloth cushions

Adèle fell in love with the grigri jewellery pieces that she had seen as a child in the markets, and the grigri design is inspiration to many of Adèle’s pieces today. Grigri pieces originated in Ghana and were thought to be a means of warding off evil spirits and protecting the wearer. A grigri is meant to represent the self.

giri choker dakar

The grigri choker being made

In Dakar, Adèle carefully watched the artisans create grigri pieces from leather and was inspired to create the pieces that are being showcased in the Graphic Africa exhibition in London this September.

dakar choker

One of the artisans in Dakar creating a grigri choker

before design giri

The grigri choker which inspired Adèle’s finished DNA designs

Here in Kiambu and of course, in Kampala, the team are busy preparing for the 2013 event, not just placing the final finishing touches on the pieces Adèle is showcasing, but also letting everyone know how excited we are about it!


Valentine polishing brass in the workshop in Kiambu

Adèle has designed and created six stunning, unique necklaces that, for the daring, can be worn, or can be used as a decorative piece in the home. Adèle has used her signature materials, brass, horn and aluminium, to create the pieces and we’re excited to see how they look showcased at the exhibition.


The horn we use in its raw state before Adèle and the artisans turn it into something beautiful!

dna chain

Sneak peek of the chains that add to the finished pieces!


Fred sewing labels at Kiambu

The Graphic Africa exhibition begins on the 14th of September and runs until the 20th of October in the King’s Road Habitat store, London. If you’re in London between these dates, please come and visit! Adèle and Emma will be there taking the Adèle Dejak brand to the next level!


The exhibition space at Habitat, King’s Road, where Adèle will be showcasing

Some impressive pieces were showcased at last year’s DNA exhibition;


One of the pieces that was exhibited last year by Cheick Diallo, from Mali


Hamed Design International also exhibited


Kpando Pottery pieces from Ghana at the DNA exhibition


More Kpando Pottery

accessories Accra Adele Dejak africa aluminium artisans bakuba Boubacar Doumbia brass Category_Our World Cheick Diallo cloth Dakar Design Network Africa DNA exhibition furniture Ghana Graphic Africa grigri Habitat Hamed Design International horn jewellery Kenya Kiambu Kpando Pottery leather London London Design Festival Mali Senegal statement jewellery workshop

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