INTERVIEW Robyn Alexander STYLING TheUrbanative PHOTOS Aart Verrips
The new Homecoming collection by TheUrbanative reflects a renewed global focus on what the emotions, textures and colours that evoke a feeling of “home” mean to us all.
TheUrbanative’s founder, designer Mpho Vackier, says the Covid-19 pandemic led to a worldwide rediscovery of what home means to people. As a result, her design firm’s Homecoming collection was not just an exploration of colour, materials and form: it also included an olfactory experience through a set of collaborative candles with Okra Candle. We spoke to her about the new range.
Do you picture the pieces in the Homecoming collection being used to create a complete look, or do you see people adding one or two items to an existing scheme?
There are 24 individual pieces in the collection, and they can fill a room or simply add to it. We explored categories of products seen in our previous collections, such as seating and storage – but we also have many firsts in this collection. These include our handcrafted beaded Mudziira wall lights, created in collaboration with The Herd, and our beautifully crafted Selamawi ceramic vessels and candelabra, made in collaboration with Jan Ernst. The concept of bringing ideas together was further explored via collaborations with Okra Candle, Neimil, Wolkberg and The Mill Fabrics.
The rust and sienna tones of the range have a wonderfully earthy feel. Why was this particular palette chosen?
During the design process, we explored the architectural details of homes across the African continent as well as the colours of these structures. We considered shades that promote feelings of warmth, connectedness, optimism and cocooning. The main colour of the range – terracotta – is very much tied to the feel and messaging of this collection, although using other colours, especially for large projects, is something we could look into.
The Homecoming designs continue and also develop TheUrbanative’s previous aesthetic. Could you talk about this in a little more detail?
We believe in constant evolution, and that results in the consideration of our previous work to inform new work. In this range we still focus on the exploration of form, but we’ve also experimented with concepts of visual texture, created either by repetition of elements – as seen on our Dehinineti drinks server – or a play on technique, like the woven details of our Hlutha table.
For more visit theurbanative.com.