Michelle Reynolds

The Mvelo Desk By Pinda Is A Great Example Of African Furniture Design

The Mvelo Desk is an impressive piece of African furniture design by Durban-based design studio, Pinda, founded by Siyanda Mbele in 2012. The piece is a culmination of what the studio intends to achieve – a fusion of the traditional and modern design aesthetics.

The Mvelo desk achieves this effortlessly, while challenging the perception of contemporary African furniture design. The concept behind the solid oak desk seeks to explore today’s focus on work, career and the hours spent behind a desk, all of which are expressed using South African Zulu chevrons.

Designer’s Description

The concept of Mvelo desk is derived from how people are married to their careers, the amount of time and days spent using a desk. I then made an analogy using the Zulu symbols/Zulu chevrons; the form of the desk represents both masculine (Triangle) and feminine (Diamond). What interested me the most in the Zulu symbols is when two symbols are joined together whether triangle or diamond they represent a union. I translated that union as people being married to their desks/ and careers.

The illustration shown unpacks what each symbol means. Each symbol illustrated below is incorporated in the function and form of the desk. The open triangle V shaped (Drawers) allows the user to leave books open at a certain page, slide down pens or pencils; pile up rolls of technical drawings etc.


Product Details

  • Time to Manufacture: 4 – 8 weeks
  • Materials Used: Solid and veneer Oak with charcoal monocoat, leather top insert and nickel plated aluminum base.
  • If you’re interested in purchasing the desk, it currently retails here, for R39,000 (roughly N950,000)

About Pinda

Siyanda Mbele

Pinda is an Award winning Durban-based design studio, established by Siyanda Mbele in 2012. Pinda designs embrace African cultures by infusing geometric patterns and symbolism with modern manufacturing technologies to create a unique aesthetic. Not only do Pinda tables focus on geometric patterns but also celebrate the textures between metal and wood. Each piece can be customised to the clients specs or selected from exsiting ranges. Our design philosophy is to make furniture that can easily complement any interior space, in some instances being a great conversation starter when entertaining guests.

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