Design

Ifeanyi Oganwu talks art, design and Africa

  • Tell us about your studio, Expand Design
  • My operation is quite slim and retains a startup attitude. The concept behind Expand is borrowed from the Expanded Arts movement of the sixties and seventies when this group of artists practiced across disciplines in order to open up new possibilities and modes of expression. A typical scenario within this group would involve a music composer making sculpture or a vice versa. I’ve adopted this approach in order to develop a multidisciplinary studio practice working with several specialists from a range of industries. It also gives me a lot of flexibility to incorporate multiple technologies into the making process without the need for a large physical infrastructure

 

  • What is your design philosophy?
  • 
I aim to use the least means possible to express the relationship between a material and its encounter with a given typology at the moment in time.

 

  • Your designs have caught the attention of both the art and design worlds, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by conversations as well as visual data, I find travelling very rewarding so I spend as much time as possible taking in art and being outdoors.

 

  • It’s been noted that you work with specialized manufacturers as opposed to big brands, why?
  • 
The big brands uphold the twentieth century notion of industrial production which has several advantages as well as limitations. I’m quite happy to retain the experimental spirit of my practice while staying open to a dialogue that explores the areas where both cultures intersect.

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