Mziwa Project


The signature piece of furniture on Zanzibar island, in Tanzania, is a simple wooden chair made solely from locally sourced materials, without any form of transformation nor any use of chemicals. An entirely ecological product.

Local craftsmen have made the tried and tested chair in the same way for generations. Emmanuel Babled has embarked upon a playful experiment with Jisamwe, a collective of Zanzibarian artisans, and over several weeks of research and collaboration, they came up with alternative models of this chair; Ziwa (the dining chair), Zanzibar (the arm chair) and Maasai (the lounge chair), with Junior versions of each model.

The chair comes from nature in its entirety, made of flexible and resilient branches that naturally repel woodlice and does not require recycling. It is the collective’s main source of income and therefore a symbol of their livelihood.

This project is open source and available to whoever wants to make it.