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Weaving Unique South African Stories Into Product Design With Mash.T


Mash.T Design Studio creates award-winning furniture, lighting, and accessories that celebrate African craft. Founded by designer Thabisa Mjo, the studio brings together technology and traditional crafts to tell uniquely South African stories, using the medium of design, which is leading the charge to create a contemporary craft-driven design aesthetic for Africa.

In doing so, the studio has collaborated with craft makers such as world-renowned master weaver, Beauty Ngxongo, Qaqambile Bead Studio, a South African fine-art beading studio, and multi-award-winning furniture brand, Houtlander. By working closely with crafters and other designers, the studio continues to do what it is most passionate about – creating sustainable economic opportunities for African creative makers through collaborative product design.


My process is very technique and material-driven focused on understanding how materials can be transformed using manual possibilities. At the moment I have two types of objects being produced at my studio. The upholsteries (Cloud and Trama collections) are series production pieces ‐ I have been fabricating some of these designs for 10 years, for example. The paper pulp and ceramics pieces are produced as single objects; it is the research that allows me to explore new possibilities in a more dynamic approach.


beads, ilala palm (a type of grass), telewire (telephone wire), terrazzo, steel

I am inspired by people, I’m inspired by my desire to help create a contemporary south african design aesthetic; one that is defined by the mixture of technology and traditional crafts. I am insrpired by the inspiring and moving culture and heritage of south africa and the desire to share that with the world. I am inspired by the wealth of traditional crafts and indegenous knowledge in south africa that has been passed down from generation to generation.


we’ve just released a new range of lights woven out of telephone wire called, “Alfred’s Light”, so that is my main focus right now. We’ve also just launched our own online store, so we’re working hard to make sure that’s a great user experience for our customers.


directly from our website.


Mash. T Founder: Thabisa Mjo

Photo Credit: Sarah De Pina

Photography with courtesy of Sarah de Pina

Mash. T: https://www.mashtdesignstudio.com/

Mash. T Instragram

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