With the Converse x Dazed 100 grant, Lagos-based designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello would create an online exhibition highlighting products from four major cities across the African continent – Lagos, Dakar, Nairobi and Casablanca. The exhibition would shine light on how these products are made and distributed, and how stakeholders’ lives are impacted in the process. “Throughout the African continent, there are a great deal of innovative and well designed contemporary products being created by everyday people without having a ‘design’ label on them,” says Marcus-Bello. This ethos of everyday ingenuity is the basis of Marcus-Bello himself’s process, and a founding principle of nmbello Studio, the designer’s Lagos outpost, where he creates objects with the idea of “understanding what is available, without trying to force an ego on the process.”
Marcus-Bello has exhibited in Los Angeles’s Marta Gallery, the 2018 Venice Design Biennale and the 2017 London Design Fair. In 2021, fresh off the heels of winning a Wallpaper Design Award in the ‘Life-Enhancer’ category, Marcus-Bello is taking a moment to breathe – as well as collaborating with some of the most exciting new fixtures on the global design scene, from architecture archive Hoodcentury Modern to Brooklyn-based interior design incubator Lichen NY and more.
Text Zsofia Paulikovics