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Siyanda Mazibuko Kumsuka Design

Ukhamba Table

By Kumsuka: Siyanda Mazibuko

Charred American red oak; ebony slow stain; water-based sealer

For Kumsuka founder Siyanda Mazibuko, whose previous design in thermally-modified American red oak for AHEC and Wallpaper Magazine’s Discovered project was recently exhibited at the Milan Triennial, the Future Heirlooms brief presented another opportunity to consider how good design can bring people together. Mazibuko’s new Ukhamba table takes inspiration from Zulu Ukhamba drinking vessels, that are shared between friends and family at Zulu gatherings. From their highly burnished surfaces, to the actual firing process, the Ukhamba table has been charred and stained to bring the traditions of the vessels to life in the design of the furniture piece itself.

“As a designer it's extremely important to me create meaningful pieces that relate to people far beyond a functional piece of furniture, and this is the very backbone of this project,” Mazibuko says. “The thinking behind my table was to create an experience of gathering around Ukhamba and making something that allowed for sharing moments and creating memories. When families gather there is usually also more than one Ukhamba being shared, which informed the design of the two parts of the table, that separate from each other to be placed elsewhere in a space.”