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Weaving Constellations of Identity
23.09.2021 — 06.03.2022



Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

We view the path of life as a narrative of the ultimate quest to become the best versions of ourselves. By responding to our passions by moving through challenges and discoveries along the way, we develop a greater awareness of ourselves and the world. As a result of our growth, we bring new ideas and new life to our communities, making it possible for a bigger audience to perceive new perspectives. By creating a safe space to inspire and to be inspired, the generous sharing and widening of our perspectives might bring healing and hope for transformation. Our intervention is part of a growing soundscape of narratives that show-case the stories of the collective paths of different African and Black women in spatial design, away from the usual appraisal of individual representation. These narrative vignettes  share the multiple journeys that make up a collection, or what we refer to as a constellation, of stories that hope to describe the hurdles and progress Black and African women face along this collective quest of identity in design. Drawing from real life anecdotes, our experiences of sharing stories, and developing the conceptual framework of the Hero’s Journey (1949) by Joseph Campbell; the tapestry weaves the stories of Black and African women in design as a collective, foregrounding emotion and existential drive within the profession of design. In this installation 5 women tell their stories, by combining methods of weaving and storytelling in the soundscape and tapestry. As a result, a complex constellation of these journeys orbit about and intersect with one another. The installation asks the visitor to reflect on the positionality of African women in Design and to value their collective identity across different times, spaces and emotions.


Artistic direction: Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk and Solange Mbanefo

Director of craft production: Danielle Noelle Dreier Harris

Tapestry craft production: Anita Vrolijk, Mirjam Spoolder, June Bicker, Salomé Dreier, Fátima-Frida Salum,  Anna Cordasco, Kira Herrman, Leonie Weinandts, Hannah Strøem, Solange Mbanefo and Khensani de Klerk

Coordinator and Supervision of Tapestry production: Solange Mbanefo

Soundscape production: Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk

Videography: Katharina Halser, Jonas Conklin

Transcription: Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk and Tapiwa Manase 

Insurmountable gratitude to our guests (soundscape voices and story contributors): Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, Sandra Obiago, Prof. Lesley Lokko, Danielle Dreier and Philiswa Lila (and Angélique Gakoko Pitteloud)