Past Meets Present Design with Kenneth Kanaabi

Past Meets Present Design with Kenneth Kanaabi

We explore his work on integrating ancient and historical knowledge into modern design practices

In a world driven by technological advancements and modern trends, there is a growing appreciation for incorporating ancient or historical knowledge into contemporary design practices.

In this week’s Afrika Design Podcast we engage in conversation with Kenneth Kanaabi, a graduate architect and designer from Uganda, embodies this ethos in his work. Drawing inspiration from his rich heritage and upbringing, Kanaabi has embraced traditional elements and earthly materials to create innovative designs that resonate with people on a profound level.

Growing up in a cross-cultural environment, Kanaabi was exposed to both Buganda and Kinyarwanda cultures. He recognized the unique architectural aspects and design elements within the Buganda culture, where functionality and artistic expression intertwine seamlessly. Everyday objects such as brooms and matches were adorned with intricate motifs, showcasing the attention to detail and the desire to create beauty in the simplest of things. This exposure ignited Kanaabi's passion for design and set him on a path to explore his creative potential.

In this episode we discusses his creative process, which began with his father making many of the items the young boy wanted. From an early age, he had practical experience in product design and prototyping. He describes the characteristics of Afrikan design, some of the materials utilized in its production, and the ideas that went into it.

This is the fourth episode under the ‘Shifting Narratives’ program supported by the British Council SSA Arts.

*For the best experience, please use a headset/earphones