Franziska Sommerlatte was born in Kenya in 1984. She studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and founded her studio in Kenya in 2013.
As one of the few designers in Kenya with a genuine multi-disciplinary approach to creativity, her projects stretch the realms of installation art and sculpture to design, craft and technology.
A fascination for materials is central to Franziska's practice as a designer. Drawing on the elemental features and bold forms of the African landscape that surround her; her research and application of materials is seen as a means and not an end. The result is an aesthetic infused with a distinct hand-made, “perfect-imperfection", channeled through the selection of appropriated and recycled objects and reintegrated with more precious materials.
Franziska, who is entirely self taught, designs and engineers all her installations of which all are made from her studio in Kenya. Using a variety of techniques and a network of local fabricators, every piece is constructed by hand with the assistance of a small tight-knit team. As a result of an involved and hands on approach, her studio has the expertise and experience to execute projects at many scales, including large site-specific commissions.
Coupled with a vivid imagination and maintaining an affinity with the vivid African landscape, Franziska applies the stylistic language of sculptural design into the interiors and architecture of residential and commercial spaces. Her sculptures, designs and light installations have been commissioned by private collectors, heads of state, and public entities in Kenya and South Africa.