NDW at Village Market
Part 2: funky industries
Nairobi Design Week office ‘The Orange Space’, photograph by Jeffrey. M.Walcott
Meet the designers behind our cool office space!
‘I remember the first time I introduced myself as a designer like it was
just yesterday, my heart was racing and my palms were sweating.
However, as soon as I said the words out loud, I felt that it was one of
the most honest statements I had ever spoken in my life.
Rina Waligo, Nairobi Design Week’s Creative Project Manager has launched her brand, funky industries which captures a person’s own unique identity and style through their furniture. funky industries follows the principles of ‘Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle’ to turn ordinary and unutilized products into cool furniture and accessories.
“It was definitely a huge risk for me, choosing to step into
this world of design. You have to be as eager as you can to
learn and also keep an open mind about it all”
There are a lot of talented designers who are self-taught and have had to learn from trial and error. Many of them go into the field only after finding the will to finally leave another career path they did not have as much interest in. A lot of the time it is because the industry has been grossly underrepresented and misunderstood, where people forget the relevance of design to society.
‘‘Everything is design. Everything!
Rina says that since she did not have a design background, she had to explore, prototype and essentially learn a lot of key principles in design with both software and hands-on work. In addition, she had to learn about key aspects like branding, business essentials and product photography since she primarily does her own shoots as well.
‘‘I had never used a power tool or made any piece of furniture
a day in my life and now I make all of it by hand.
The pieces from this collection are distinguishable by their bold prints, colours and patterns, where there is a touch of personality to each product. It’s safe to say that the furniture and accessories are indeed ‘funky’!
‘‘Of course, having one collection that looks good, or pulling
off a space does not necessarily make you a designer. I know
there is still a lot for me to learn, I am glad that I have placed
myself in the sort of environment that nurtures that growth”