Handmade in Ethiopia

Intercultural Appreciation of Handicraft Techniques in Ethiopia Through Design

Martina Allerbeck

März / March - 2023

Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen

Master of Arts


By integrating craft techniques into modern products and creating new markets for these designs, traditional crafts can be preserved. At the same time, new economic opportunities can be created for the artisans. As part of my project, I travelled through Ethiopia to learn about different crafts and the local culture. It was important for me to consider the environmental and social impacts of production. In cooperation with basket weavers in Ethiopia, the “Banti Baskets” were created and the social design concept for a potential “social business” was developed. The baskets are not only attractive decorative objects, but also functional. With the optionally available add-ons, the Banti Baskets can also be used as mirror holders, seat bases or pin boards. They are handmade in Ethiopia from natural grasses, making them robust and durable.