6 great projects to see at Design Week Addis Ababa

6 great projects to see at Design Week Addis Ababa

The cutting-edge expo returns to Ethiopia’s capital, bringing with it robots, NFTs and indulgent furnishings


Elevated interiors courtesy of Actuel Urban Living / Image: Michel Temteme

Selamta editors

Great design is everywhere we look, and also in a lot of places that get overlooked. It is, essentially, woven into the fabric of everyday life, as you’ll discover at Design Week Addis Ababa.

First launched in 2015, the event is a platform for artists and designers from around the world to exhibit their work, as well as a showcase for galleries, start-ups, hotels and other organisations with a cultural focus.

This year, Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA) takes place from 21-27 November at venues around the city. To give you a taste of what to expect, here are a few of the event’s many highlights, with much more to be discovered across the week.

Luxurious living from Actuel / Image: Michel Temteme

Designed in Ethiopia, Made in Ethiopia

Brush up on your interior design knowledge by browsing the latest collections from stylish Ethiopian brands, including BeMistre, Keste Damena and Actuel Urban Living, whose ethos is inspired by the minimalist designs of traditional Ethiopian and African furniture.

Category: Architecture, industrial design and interiors
Where: Actuel Urban Living, Bemister, Keste Damena showrooms
When: Friday Nov 25, 6pm-9pm

It may look cool, but there's an important message behind this plastic palace...

Step into a plastic palace

This immersive installation is a timely comment on Addis Ababa’s plastic consumption. Designed by artist and architect Mardet Gebreyesus, and multimedia artists Leikun Nahusenay and Darios Haile Michel, the ‘palace’ is a life-sized replica of a family home, where every item is a made of plastic, even including the windows. The building is constructed from plastic water bottles and other plastic waste collected from recycling hubs and landfills around Addis Ababa.

Category: Art and multimedia
Where: Atmosphere, Atlas
When: Thursday Nov 24, 6pm-9pm

GuzoTech's self-driving robot, HALETA / Image: courtesy of Guzo Technologies

A glimpse into the future

Tuesday’s tech showcase will give attendees a window into upcoming innovative app releases and the latest developments in XR (extended reality). Among the most exciting projects available to view will be autonomous smart robot prototypes built by Ethiopian companies GuzoTech (founded by computer science graduate and augmented reality expert Daniel Getachew) and tech start-up FanosBox. These robots have a range of potential applications, particularly around health and agriculture.

Category: Tech
Where: The Urban Center, Meskel Square
When: Tuesday Nov 22, 6pm-9pm

Stories of the Future Past: an exhibition at New Parameters of Making / Image: ©New Parameters of Making

The New Parameters of Making

Take a look at some seriously forward-thinking design work in this international exhibition, which aims to showcase new thinking and shared knowledge around different design formats. Prototypes, limited-edition objects and ongoing creative projects (many using local materials) will all be on display, supplied by designers from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Germany.

Category: Industrial design
Where: Fozia Endrias Boutique, Bole Mehaniealem
When: Friday Nov 25, 4pm-6pm

Your morning brew just got catapulted into the future: Culture of Coffee / Image: @CultureofCoffee

Culture of Coffee

As its tenth anniversary approaches, Culture of Coffee (a book and transmedia project exploring the history of the world’s most popular drink, developed by DWAA founder and Selamta contributor Metasebia Yoseph) is being reimagined as a culturally inspired NFT, accompanied by a ‘$COFFEE’ virtual token (which gives the holder various digital bonuses) and a limited edition hardback version the book.

Category: Tech
Where: The Urban Center, Meskel Square
When: Tuesday Nov 22, 6pm-9pm

End of the week scenes at Sunday Groove / Image: D!NK Multimedia

Sunday Groove 

After a week of feeding your imagination, treat yourself by feeding your stomach and kicking back. The Final day of Design Week sees the bustling Design Market transformed into a giant party, complete with a ‘glam picnic’ (stocked with plenty of tasty treats), a curated pop-up shop, live music and cocktails, all taking place in a gorgeous outdoor setting.

Category: Design Market
Where: Eden Genet Garden Wollo Sefer
When: Sunday Nov 27, 3pm-8pm