Mbali Mthethwa

Founder and Creative Director at The Herd Designs

Mbali Mthethwa, a creative practitioner based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the founder and creative director of The Herd Designs (The Herd). Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Community Development and Leadership, as well as an honours degree with a major in Anthropology from the University of Johannesburg, she collaborates with crafters in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, harnessing their skills to create unique collectable pieces deeply rooted in African traditional artisanal techniques and culture. These works not only bear aesthetic significance but also pay homage to the often-overlooked history of design and craft expertise pioneered by indigenous cultural groups. The Herd has garnered commissions from prestigious entities such as the South African Mint, NIKE, and the Human Sciences Research Council. Its creations have been featured at renowned events and institutions, including Maison & Object in Paris, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and the Wereldmuseum Leiden in the Netherlands. Notably, Kate Otten Architecture has commissioned The Herd to contribute to an installation at the Biennale Architettura 2023 in Venice titled The Laboratory of the Future, curated by Lesley Lokko. Additionally, The Herd has provided pieces for the Sharjah Architecture Triennial titled The Beauty of Impermanence, curated by Tosin Oshinowo.

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow Convening Cape Town February 2024

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