Afrikan Alphabets & African Diasporic Design Lineage


Counter to colonial notions of the savage or primitive African, there is a complex, rich and multi-cultural history of African design. From the research of graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa on Afrikan alphabets and graphic languages, this opening video will set the course from African design lineages that travel from the continent to America through the transatlantic slave trade.



The Decorative Arts of Africa by Louise E Jefferson

African Alphabets by Saki Mafundikwa

Making Africa : A Continent of Contemporary Design

AFRICA : Art of a continent
Tom Phillips

Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain)

MBUTI DESIGN : Paintings by Pygmy Women of the Ituri Forest
Georges Meurant and Robert Farris Thompson
Thames and Hudson

TEXTILE ART OF THE BAKUBA: Velvet Embroideries in RaffiaSam Hilu and Irwin Hersey with Value Guide
A Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors

AFRICAN REFLECTIONS : Art from North Eastern Zaire
by Enid Schildkrout and Curtis A. Keim Washington
American Museum of Natural History

ANAFORUANA: Ritual y simbolos de la Iniciacion en la sociedad secreta Abakud Lydia Cabrera
Ediciones R Madrid, 1975

PATTERNS THAT CONNECT : Social Symbolism in Ancient & Tribal Art byCarl Schuster & Edmund Carpenter

Secrecy: African Art That Conceals and Reveals Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou by Mary H. Nooter

African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design.
by Ron Eglash
1999. 1st edition. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.

Designs for the Pluriverse by Arturo Escobar

The Intimacies of Four Continents by Lisa Lowe

Epistemologies of the South by Boaventura de Souza Santos

“Culturally Situated Design Tools: Ethnocomputing from Field Site to Classroom.” by Ron Eglash, Audrey Bennett, Casey O’donnell, Sybillyn Jennings, and Margaret Cintorino. 2006. American Anthropologist 108 (2): 347–62.

“Notes for a Cosmopolitical Design: Regarding the Comments from Marisol de La Cadena and Keith M. Murphy.” Tironi, Martín, and Pablo Hermansen. 2018 Journal of Cultural Economy 11 (4): 354–58.

The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies by Tiffany Lethabo King

“Decolonizing Design Innovation: Design Anthropology, Critical Anthropology, and Indigenous Knowledge.” by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, 2013.

In Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice.
edited by Wendy Gunn, Ton Otto, and Rachel Charlotte Smith, 2114–2230. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown

Design Justice by Sasha Costanza-Chock

Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram

Everywhere Being Is Dancing: Twenty Pieces of Thinking by Robert Bringhurst

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by Bell Hooks