The history of design in Africa spans millennia and encompasses ancient civilisations like the Egyptians and Nubians, known for their architectural marvels and intricate crafts. African textile traditions, rich with cultural symbolism, have flourished for centuries, while everything about the way people live reflects Africa’s climatic and cultural diversity.
Of course, colonialism left its mark, but it could be argued that this intervention led to new forms of beauty by blending African and European design elements. Post-independence, African countries began to assert their cultural identities in design. Contemporary African designers are adept at blending tradition and trends, gaining global recognition. Sustainability and innovation seem to thrive on the continent whose design principles have always been eco-friendly.
In the digital age, African artists have used technology to push the boundaries of what is possible in design, creating cutting-edge narratives and multimedia installations. A key example of this kind of artistic and technological innovation is TOGUNA WORLD. This mixed-media art installation seamlessly merges the Metaverse with our physical reality.
In TOGUNA WORLD, the digital meets the tangible, and African traditions and wisdom come to life. Its mission is to create a digital realm that celebrates the transcendent power of African traditions while nurturing community engagement and collective dreaming. Reimagining age-old myths and infusing them with modern technology and design, TOGUNA WORLD hosts a future-dreaming ritual within a metaverse dream world, igniting an ambitious cross-continental dialogue on the future.
TOGUNA WORLD acts as a bridge between the digital and the physical, seamlessly merging the imaginative with the tangible. In this creative space, objects come to life, existing both in the Metaverse and in our physical reality. TOGUNA WORLD’s mission is to explore the fusion of contemporary design, centuries-old craftsmanship, rich traditions, diverse cultures and cutting-edge technologies. This approach allows participants to witness the transformation of imagined objects into irl artefacts.
A jewel within TOGUNA WORLD is the Ishango collection. This exceptional offering showcases a series of collectable design pieces meticulously crafted by master artisans from Kenya and Nigeria.
Leading the series is Moja, a modular ritual table carved by Swahili woodcarvers in Mombasa, Kenya, and adorned with a breathtaking tapestry of beads hand-embroidered by Yoruba artisans in Ibadan, Nigeria. Crafted from Iroko wood, it blends two centuries-old African indigenous traditions with a distinct contemporary flair. Moja plays a central role in divination rituals that fuse art and the Metaverse. When combined with others, it forms a communal table reminiscent of the human vertebral column.
TOGUNA WORLD introduces a wide range of objects within the Metaverse, each intricately crafted to pay homage to diverse African cultures and traditions. From intricately beaded tapestries that honour ancestral symbols to architectural elements inspired by sacred spaces. TOGUNA WORLD’s design components evoke pride and a deep connection to cultural heritage, which demonstrates the transformative power of art and design.
But TOGUNA WORLD’s ambitions go beyond the virtual world as one of the most intriguing facets is its ability to bring digital designs to life in the physical world. Through innovative processes, objects conceived in the Metaverse are translated into tangible pieces that can be touched, worn, and admired in real life. This transition from the virtual to the real amplifies the project’s impact, offering participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the richness of African culture further into time and space.
Right now, it is a beautiful time to be an African! It seems we are in a moment of true change and progress. TOGUNA WORLD is a powerful signifier of this transcendental journey. With its seamless integration of design, culture and tradition, the TOGUNA movement serves a community that celebrates the convergence of Metaverse creativity and real-world impact, finding power in the intersection between the virtual and tangible worlds. Imagine what dreams may come from a sustained exploration of TOGUNA’s immersive space.
To learn more about TOGUNA WORLD’s innovative approach to design and to experience this transformative project, visit the website at togunaworld.com