Commissioned by Lexus to take part in Design Miami, Lagos-based architect Tosin Oshinowo and UK-based textile designer Chrissa Amuah revealed their lavish take on the face shield, which, along with the face mask, has rose to popularity for the most unfortunate of reasons, and has become an object that will go down in history as a symbol of 2020.
Coming in transparent and bronze versions, the futuristic face shields were inspired by symbolic elements, African mythology, and advancements that originated from the African continent, particularly in east Niger’s Termit where evidence of the continent’s independent iron technology from over 5000 years ago was discovered.
Etched into the curved brass plates are stencil patterns that pay tribute to African fractal rhythm and and the pulmonary veins of the lungs. Worn like a headband, a 3D printed frame runs vertically between the shields in a wavy pattern, highlighting the face’s silhouette.
It is the designer’s hope that the masks give African culture and design its deserved recognition in a contemporary and international context. “There definitely isn’t a political message, but it’s a beautiful way to show another perspective off Africa and Africa’s contribution in a way that isn’t often seen,” states Amuah. “At the end of the day as human beings we’re all in this together.”