Dwell 24: Kusheda Mensah

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By Dwell
Large abstract forms zigzag, curve, and tumble in captivating shades of ochre, ivory, and powder blue, like oversized building blocks, in Kusheda Mensah's debut furniture collection.

Mutual, released this year, is a 20-piece set of modular upholstered seating that invites playful experimentation and promotes interpersonal connection. This is what the Ghanian-British designer hopes all her work will inspire. Mensah, 27, holds a degree in surface design from the University of the Arts, London, and works both independently and collaboratively from her studio in East London. 

We asked the breakout designer about who inspires her, her most treasured possession, and what daily rituals get her in the zone. Read the answers below.

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"I want my pieces to encourage human relationships and socialization," says Mensah, who is troubled by the rifts social media has caused in how we bond. 

"I want my pieces to encourage human relationships and socialization," says Mensah, who is troubled by the rifts social media has caused in how we bond. 

Hometown: London, United Kingdom

Current location: Peckham, South East London, United Kingdom

Something you always carry with you: My Aesop Resurrection hand cream.

First childhood memory related to design: First ceramic pot I made and painted.

Mensah describes the pieces as "the first collection of furniture exploring face-to-face interaction between people and its deterioration."

Mensah describes the pieces as "the first collection of furniture exploring face-to-face interaction between people and its deterioration."

Daily ritual to get into a creative space: Putting on Bossa Nova, I dunno why but it just gets me in the zone. 

Musical artist or album that inspires you: Cleo—Charlotte Dos Santos. 

Person you most admire: My mother—maybe basic and cliché but true, she’s sacrificed everything so I can have a better life.

The signature collection is inspired by "sustaining [the] idea of mutuality, the collection uses abstract tactical shaped furniture, to encourage others to configure their own social spaces, with the ambition of changing this narrative."

The signature collection is inspired by "sustaining [the] idea of mutuality, the collection uses abstract tactical shaped furniture, to encourage others to configure their own social spaces, with the ambition of changing this narrative."

Talent you would most like to have: Learning new languages as easily as I did when I was young. 

A word or phrase that is guiding you currently: You got this!

Kusheda Mensah's configurable seating collection, Mutual, features 20 abstract upholstered shapes designed to foster social interaction.

Kusheda Mensah's configurable seating collection, Mutual, features 20 abstract upholstered shapes designed to foster social interaction.

Your most treasured possession: A necklace my dad wore all the time. When I was young I would play with it around his neck when clinging to his hip and shoulders and I loved it. And now I wear it. 

Advice you would give yourself five years ago: Follow and listen to your intuition, don’t let anyone tell you different. Anything that doesn’t feel right, don’t do! Which feels so in line with who I am now, so it’s hard to believe five years ago that wasn’t me, haha! 

At the root of Mensah's work is an exploration of how one can create an idyllic, yet fun and functional, living environment.

At the root of Mensah's work is an exploration of how one can create an idyllic, yet fun and functional, living environment.

Describe your work in one word: Gorgeous—that is literally the first word that came to mind haha! 

Favorite or least favorite design trend: Sculptural furniture.


You can follow Mensah on her website or on Instagram.

Meet the rest of the Dwell 24, our selection of up-and-coming designers to watch in 2018.