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SoShiro Collections Story at LDF 23- design from Japan, Kenya and Cuba | Mayfair Design District

SoShiro Collections Story at LDF 23- design from Japan, Kenya and Cuba | Mayfair Design District

SoShiro is a 360-degree cultural hub that not only produces, curates, and showcases collections inspired by global cultures but also acts as a creative incubator and event space. ​ For this year’s London Design Festival, gallerist and designer Shiro Muchiri has curated a collection of over 30 pieces of tableware and furniture whose origins span from Japan, Kenya and Cuba.

“SoShiro Collections Story” encompasses an exploration of work from makers and designers whose stories are very much under the radar.

Gallerist Shiro Muchiri explains “we wanted to highlight work from places that don’t normally get a spotlight of design shone on them and we are excited to be able to do this as part of Mayfair Design District during LDF. The collections are designed and produced by Muchiri in collaboration with artists and artisans from these cultures, championing the craftmanship and the rich cultural narratives of these creative communities.”

The Ainu Collection is a unique collaboration between award-winning artist and sculptor Toru Kaizawa and SoShiro that celebrates the natural beauty of a special Ainu craft, from the indigenous people of northern Japan. The collection of furniture and delicate ceramic accessories feature a playful abstract motif of the Blakiston’s Fish Owl eyes – an Ainu symbol of protection.

The scent of herbs and fresh earth lends a feeling of tranquillity and healing, an experience the Herbal Wardrobe is designed to bring into our living environment, and along with it the scent of nature and inspiration drawn from the Ainu people. The troughs are designed to house an arrangement of different sized plant pots. ​ Being able to position this piece of contemporary interior décor in any setting, to areas of work or rest, which adds a restorative and therapeutic experience.

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The Pok Collection, designed by Muchiri, pays tribute to her own Kenyan heritage and celebrates the artistry of hand-crafted beadwork inspired by the Pokot community of northern Kenya. The complex and vibrant beadwork expresses the artistic abilities of beading communities of the country. New materials such as semi-precious stones and colourful marble gems have been carefully integrated into the beautifully crafted wooden Pok pieces including the handsome Butler sideboard made from oak veneer and consisting of an intricate internal storage system.  Salt and Pepper mills made from walnut wood and a ceramic grinder mechanism are beautifully decorated with glass pearl beads.

Layers is a collaboration between Muchiri and Cuban multimedia artist Alexandre Arrechea, celebrating the style and spirit of Havana through hand-crafted furniture. ​ “Collector” is a large modular shelf unit in pear wood with a drop-down shelf finished in decorative mosaic work designed by third year students from the Mosaic School of Friuli, Italy. Using pear wood and aluminium, Arrechea’s desk that spells out ‘I Do’ in pseudo-digital form is a play on our romance with work.


SoShiro Collections Story

SoShiro Gallery highlights design from Japan, Kenya and Cuba as part of Mayfair Design District at London Design Festival 2023(15 – 30th September 2023)   SoShiro is a 360-degree cultural hub that not only produces, curates, and showcases collections inspired by global cultures but also acts as a creative incubator and event space. ​ For this year’s London Design Festival, gallerist and designer Shiro Muchiri has curated a collection of over 30 pieces of tableware and furniture whose origins span from Japan, Kenya and Cuba. “SoShiro Collections Story” encompasses an exploration of work from makers and designers whose stories are very much under the radar. Gallerist Shiro Muchiri explains “we wanted to highlight work from places that don’t normally get a spotlight of design shone on them and we are excited to be able to do this as part of Mayfair Design District during LDF. The collections are designed and produced by Muchiri in collaboration with artists and artisans from these cultures, championing the craftmanship and the rich cultural narratives of these creative communities.”  The Ainu Collection is a unique collaboration between award-winning artist and sculptor Toru Kaizawa and SoShiro that celebrates the natural beauty of a special Ainu craft, from the indigenous people of northern Japan. The collection of furniture and delicate ceramic accessories feature a playful abstract motif of the Blakiston’s Fish Owl eyes – an Ainu symbol of protection. The scent of herbs and fresh earth lends a feeling of tranquillity and healing, an experience the Herbal Wardrobe is designed to bring into our living environment, and along with it the scent of nature and inspiration drawn from the Ainu people. The troughs are designed to house an arrangement of different sized plant pots. ​ Being able to position this piece of contemporary interior décor in any setting, to areas of work or rest, which adds a restorative and therapeutic experience.  The Pok Collection, designed by Muchiri, pays tribute to her own Kenyan heritage and celebrates the artistry of hand-crafted beadwork inspired by the Pokot community of northern Kenya. The complex and vibrant beadwork expresses the artistic abilities of beading communities of the country. New materials such as semi-precious stones and colourful marble gems have been carefully integrated into the beautifully crafted wooden Pok pieces including the handsome Butler sideboard made from oak veneer and consisting of an intricate internal storage system.  Salt and Pepper mills made from walnut wood and a ceramic grinder mechanism are beautifully decorated with glass pearl beads.  Layers is a collaboration between Muchiri and Cuban multimedia artist Alexandre Arrechea, celebrating the style and spirit of Havana through hand-crafted furniture. ​ “Collector” is a large modular shelf unit in pear wood with a drop-down shelf finished in decorative mosaic work designed by third year students from the Mosaic School of Friuli, Italy. Also using pear wood and aluminium, Arrechea’s desk that spells out ‘I Do’ in pseudo-digital form is a play on our romance with work.  About Shiro Muchiri Beginning her career in her native city of Nairobi, Shiro Muchiri immersed herself in the bustling environment of a successful design studio before traveling to Milan to formally train in design. In 2002, Muchiri launched Interni Design Studio, where as an interior architect she led a team in London designing residential and workspace environments for exacting, international clients. While working on her own collection of furniture and accessories she became passionate about the process of making and how craftsmanship, design and art have the power to communicate heritage. Muchiri set out to provide a space where contemporary designers and artists can share their local, traditional stories. SoShiro’s headquarters lends itself perfectly to hosting a variety of different event formats, from pop-up installations to product launches.  About Mayfair Design District Established in 2017, Mayfair Design District exists to celebrate the very best in collectible and contemporary design and cement Mayfair’s position as a leading international destination for the decorative arts. Highlighting art and design led exhibitions, site-specific installations, auctions, fairs and special projects amongst other activity, Mayfair Design District has been formed around the notion that through working collectively, the businesses behind the galleries, auction houses, estates and other stakeholders will benefit by working together to more positively promote the creative and cultural identity of this illustrious enclave.  SoShiro 23 Welbeck Street, London W1G 8DZ +44 (0) 20 7618 9890 Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm FREE – by appointment only soshiro.co