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HOME - INTERVIEW

Interview with Designer Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA

He focused on to make functional and useful products, to provide functionality with unique design. I asked Lincoln Kayiwa, in order to learn more about his life, design approach and his own brand KAYIWA.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA

Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA - Courtesy of KAYIWA

HOME - INTERVIEW

by Beren Dere

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Lincoln Kayiwa was born in 1979 in Kampala, Uganda. After studied Bachelor of Arts at Makerere University in Uganda he moved to Finland and graduated as a Master of Arts from the Aalto University School of Arts in Helsinki, Finland in 2007. Then he established KAYIWA. He focused on to make functional and useful products, to provide functionality with unique design. I asked Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA, in order to learn more about his life, design approach and his own brand KAYIWA.

Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA

Lincoln Kayiwa, Founder and CEO of KAYIWA - Courtesy of KAYIWA

Lincoln, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Lincoln Kayiwa?

Briefly, I was born in 1979 into an architectural family in Kampala, Uganda. I graduated as a Master of Arts from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland in 2007. Upon graduating, I founded my eponymous studio, KAYIWA.

KAYIWA CARAT WB COLOR+ Wine Bucket

KAYIWA CARAT WB COLOR+ Wine Bucket - Courtesy of KAYIWA

What or who inspired you to become a designer?

Besides being born into an architectural family, there are a number of other separate incidents that inspired me to become a designer. However, I really got interested in design when doing my Bachelor of Arts at Makerere University in Uganda. We had a visiting professor from Central Michigan University, David Stairs, who gave lectures about postmodern design. Through the said lectures I was introduced to different works, for instance, Alvar Aalto’s design plus architecture, and Paul Rand’s graphic design. Specifically, I like Philippe Starck’s early work such as the Juicy Salif for Alessi and the POAA Dumbbells. The examples above prove that good design can be both humorous and serious.

KAYIWA DINO WAVY Clothes Rack

KAYIWA DINO WAVY Clothes Rack - Courtesy of KAYIWA

How would you describe your design approach? What is your signature in your designs?

My Ugandan roots and Nordic life blend into a unique approach. I borrow principles and aesthetic elements from the rich cultures and traditions of African and Nordic art, craft and design to make bold, playful, yet fully functional artifacts.

KAYIWA NZELA CT DE STIJL Coffee Table

KAYIWA NZELA CT DE STIJL Coffee Table - Courtesy of KAYIWA

You graduated from Aalto University School of Arts in Helsinki, Finland. How do you combine your Ugandan roots and Finnish/Nordic design culture?

For example, in no particular order, the NZELA Table is a tribute to my late grandmother, Angela, who I was very fond of. The table in our kitchen was a place where my extended family met. Therefore, it was relevant to design one that offers more room for various dishes, and people to celebrate. The Nordic influence on the NZELA design is for instance evidenced by the flat-pack concept (think IKEA). The table comprises three snap-fit elements, uses only gravity to stay together; therefore, it does not require any tools, fixtures or fittings for assembly. It is also modular, so one can conjoin as many assembled tables, and in whichever direction they desire. Additionally, De Stijl being one of the most formulated movements seemed like the perfect source of inspiration as symmetry, alignment and modularity had a huge role to play usability-wise. Its principles would also directly complement the shape, structure and visual appearance.

KAYIWA AAKKOSET Shelf/Room Divider

KAYIWA AAKKOSET Shelf/Room Divider - Courtesy of KAYIWA

Second, the arrangement of the letters of the AAKKOSET Shelf is inspired by the alphabet rhyme that I sung during my nursery school days back in Uganda.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

H, I, J, K, L, M, N

O, P, Q

R, S, T

U, V, W, X, Y, Z

You can use it to hold books, CDs, DVDs, paste post-it notes or even use it as a room divider at your home or office, because it is very stable. You do not really have to worry about children, or intoxicated adults toppling it over.

KAYIWA AAKKOSET Shelf/Room Divider

KAYIWA AAKKOSET Shelf/Room Divider - Courtesy of KAYIWA

Why did you decide to create your own brand, KAYIWA?

I am passionate about fusing art with design to create functional solutions for everyday needs.

KAYIWA BARBARA Candle Holders

KAYIWA BARBARA Candle Holders - Courtesy of KAYIWA

What type of projects do you prefer and enjoy working on the most? What is your favorite material to use in your designs?

I am pretty versatile. I like the challenge of working with different materials and/or projects. This way, there’s never a boring day at the studio. For instance, the recently completed project was to show by example that granite is not only meant for architecture or art, but is in many ways better than [the overrated] marble. Granite is one of the most durable, naturally occurring stones, which makes it is ideal for surfaces that see a great deal of use, such as countertops. In creating these avant-garde objects for living that experiment with form and aesthetic, I combined traditional handcraft with mechanization to create a line of timeless products - from mortar and pestle to furniture - exclusively out of a selection of rare Finnish granite types, such as Amadeus, Brown Hill, Moss Granite and Lappia Green. The collection paid tribute to last year’s Finnish centenary, as granite is the national stone.

KAYIWA ITTOLI Bowl

KAYIWA ITTOLI Bowl - Courtesy of KAYIWA

Though granite is weighty, a key feature throughout the collection makes the pieces easy to move. Honed finger grooves are placed strategically to allow the user to grip objects and lift them off surfaces. The silhouettes throughout the granite collection are a play on geometry, proportion and precision, with contrasts of various shades and types of polished and honed granite.

KAYIWA TUKAANI Chopsticks

KAYIWA TUKAANI Chopsticks - Courtesy of KAYIWA

What was your first commercial work?

The TUKAANI Chopsticks, which are an elegant solution for those that cannot effectively use traditional chopsticks.

What advice would you give to young designers?

Forge your own path, make your own rules.

KAYIWA DOMINO GILDED Candle Holder

KAYIWA DOM I NO GILDED Candle Holder - Courtesy of KAYIWA

How can our readers follow KAYIWA?

Facebook www.facebook.com/theofficialkayiwapage

Instagram www.instagram.com/lincolnkayiwa

Twitter https://twitter.com/lincolnkayiwa

Where can our readers see your designs?

Paris Design Week 2018, New York Design Week 2019, and if all goes as planned Design Miami 2019.

What is next for you?

At the moment, I am working on a confidential project that should be ready towards the end of this year. So, stay tuned!

Thank you Lincoln.

For more information, please visit website of KAYIWA





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