Jomo Tariku showcases African-inspired seating at Design Miami 2022

Ethiopian American industrial designer and artist Jomo Tariku exhibited four models of chairs and stools in partnership with Wexler Gallery at Design Miami/ 2022. He is 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 in a limited edition of 18 and are exclusively available through Wexler Gallery.

black chair with T-shaped backrest

Nyala chair

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

black chair with T-shaped backrest

Nyala chair

black chair with T-shaped backrest

Nyala chair

black chair with T-shaped backrest

Nyala chair

black chair with T-shaped backrest

Nyala chair

black graphic chair with U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

Featuring four interchangeable back designs and a range of colors, the Qwanta Totem Chair is the evolution of the African birthing chair. It is simply constructed with a U-shaped base and a backrest that slides into it, requiring no additional hardware. This version is inspired by the Gurage culture of central Ethiopia, while the interchangeable backrest totems are found in many parts of sub-Saharan African countries. Unused folders can even be displayed as wall art.

black graphic chair with U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

black graphic chair with U-shaped base

Qwanta Totem Chair

black and orange chair that looks like Afro Comb

Meedo chair

The Meedo chair immediately evokes the iconic Afro Comb. Crafted in ash black with orange accents, it combines its history with the African tradition of a ceremonial seat that signifies leadership, unity and kinship. The use of Afro Combs dates back at least 6,000 years in Sudan and became a symbol of beauty, status and vigor through the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movements.

black and orange chair that looks like Afro Comb

Meedo chair

detail of the black and orange chair that looks like Afro Comb

Meedo chair

black and orange chair that looks like Afro Comb

Meedo chair

black and orange chair that looks like Afro Comb

Meedo chair

Mukecha stool

The Mukecha is a multifunctional table/stool inspired by the traditional mortars and pestles used to grind barley, wheat and other crops. This sturdy tool is used by women to prepare flour in a time-consuming process that is 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 stool with stacked books

Mukecha stool

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

Kelly Beall is an 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 discoveries with others. When she’s not distracted by great art and design, she can be found messing around in the kitchen, consuming as much information as she can, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social media.

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