Zimbabwean design researcher Natsai Audrey Chieza to speak at TEDGlobal 2017

UK-based Zimbabwean design researcher Natsai Audrey Chieza has been announced as one of the speakers at the TEDGlobal event set for Arusha Tanzania from 27 to 31 August 2017.

Natsai Audrey Chieza

Chieza who is the founder and creative director of Faber Futures, crosses boundaries between technology, biology, design and cultural studies.

As a design futurist she pursues alternative craft processes.

Faber Futures is a creative R&D studio that conceptualises, prototypes and evaluates the resilience of biomaterials emerging through the convergence of bio-fabrication, digital fabrication and traditional craft processes.

Natsai Audrey Chieza

As Resident Designer at the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London, she established a design-led microbiology protocol that replaces synthetic pigments with natural dyes excreted by bacteria — producing silk scarves dyed brilliant blues, reds and pinks. The process demands a rethink of the entire system of fashion and textile production — and is also a way to examine issues like resource scarcity, provenance and cultural specificity.

Speaking to prote.in, the Zimbabwe-born trailblazer explained of her work under Professor John Ward at UCL:

You start off with a defined purpose and this changes because you can’t control whether or not that happens, and actually there are some really beautiful consequences of having a contaminant there.

With Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame as well as Mauritius’s first female head of state Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Nnedi Okorafor (whose book just got optioned for HBO), poet-activst Thandiswa Mazwai also announced Chieza is in good company.

Another Zimbabwean, Carl Joshua Ncube was announced as a TEDGlobal Fellow earlier this year