Igniting Creativity and Fostering Peace: Meleya Workshop at the Urban Center in Collaboration with Initiative Africa
On February 15, the Urban Center was abuzz with creativity and innovation as Meleya, in collaboration with Initiative Africa’s Business for Peace project, hosted an enriching workshop and panel discussion aimed at igniting creativity and fostering peace.
The event’s highlight was the presence of Ethiopian American artist and industrial designer, Jomo Tariku, who is reshaping the landscape of modern African design by drawing inspiration from the continent’s diverse elements, including its landscapes, cultures, architecture, and traditional adornments. His innovative creations offer a contemporary interpretation while deepening their roots in Africa’s rich heritage.
Tariku’s notable designs, such as the Nyala, Qwanta, and Meedo chairs, alongside the Watatu Stool series, were prominently featured in the stage design of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, showcasing his bold design approach. His work is not only recognized in prestigious museums like the Met and LACMA but also reflects his advocacy for greater representation of Black designers in the industry.
The evening commenced with an inspirational workshop led by Meleya, offering participants a platform to explore their creative potential and discuss innovative ideas. Attendees were treated to an insightful panel discussion featuring Tariku, alongside Kalkidan Tadesse, CEO of Meleya Soft Furniture, and Maheder Gebremedhin, Director at The Urban Center.
The panel discussion, moderated by Kalkidan Tadesse, delved into the importance of creativity and innovation in fostering peace and driving socio-economic development. Tariku shared his experiences and emphasized the power of art and design in shaping narratives and promoting cultural heritage. “It is about representing our local cultures” stated Tariku.
With the support from Initiative Africa, the workshop ventured into exploring new avenues for creativity and innovation, aiming to empower individuals and communities to become catalysts for positive change.
The event concluded on a high note, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to harness their creativity for the betterment of society. As Meleya’s workshop continues to unfold, the journey towards peace and prosperity through innovation promises to be both exciting and transformative.