Interview: Jaswant Bhachu
The 55 team are always on the look out for talent with a unique voice. So when we came across AMWA Designs we knew we needed to approach Chrissa Amuah, Creative Director & Founder to find out more. As the interview progressed it quickly came apparent that the term #girlboss has never been more relevant. From having a global brand presence to creating life-changing platforms for designers from sub-Saharan Africa; have a read to find out more.
The brand ethos is about bringing new meaning to our personal living space. What is your main inspiration behind your design aesthetic?
Yes AMWA Designs is an Adinkra inspired homeware and interiors textile brand. It is built on the principle that our homes and private spaces should be enveloped with beautiful furnishings that evoke powerful and positive thoughts within us. The Adinkra symbols and proverbs of Ghana form the inspiration. The symbols serve a decorative function, but also convey traditional wisdoms and adages. To combine beautiful design with meaningful design in our everyday lives I think is incredibly powerful.
We often see work in progress shots of your designs on social media. How important is the fact your work is handmade and you are so involved in all areas of production?
It’s so so important. I think excessive/fast consumerism has undermined the value of craft and handmade. For new or upcoming brands, sharing the process helps assert the product story, value and price point.
Your work has not been shy of gracing many publications and showcasing around the world. Is there a main highlight so far in your career that you are particularly proud of?
I’m proud of it all; each piece tells a story from a chapter of the journey so far. For it to have been so global also affirms that AMWA Designs’ brand vision transcends all cultures and resonates with so many.
AMWA Designs stems much further than the brand itself. AFRICA BY DESIGN has become a huge platform featuring the best of Africa's design talent. Tell us more about your role in this and your ultimate vision.
AFRICA BY DESIGN was born from seeing how AMWA Designs was benefitting from the opportunity to showcase via an exhibition platform such as Salone Satellite at Milan Design Week.
In my research for AMWA Designs, I was looking back to Ghana and more widely Africa for inspiration. As I did so, I came across other African designers who were producing beautiful design works, but there was no platform to celebrate them. In recent years there’s been increasing interest in African art – I saw that there was room to expand the dialogue to include the continent’s design offering.
So I established AFRICA BY DESIGN. We’ve just celebrated our one-year anniversary. We launched with an exhibition in Accra Ghana, on a date that coincided with Ghana’s anniversary of independence. Since then we’ve gone on to feature 26 designers in two additional exhibitions in London and then Dubai.