Jomo is an Ethiopian American artist and industrial designer who develops African themed furniture. As a young boy growing up in Ethiopia, he was always drawn to the eclectic art, souvenirs, and furniture pieces his father collected during his travel throughout Africa and beyond.
That combined with spending two summer breaks at a local furniture builder in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia catapulted his interest in furniture making and design.
The Birth Chair II (BCII) was inspired by African birthing chairs, which are used in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Like most home furnishings in African countries it serves a dual purpose with a utilitarian function, as both a decorative element and a seat.
In this piece, Jomo created a new style of chair where the seat is made from a single bent plywood or acrylic with a removable backrest that incorporates various African patterns. Unlike the commonly found birthing chairs where the seat section slides through a hole in the backrest, Jomo’s version does the opposite. Just by adding this feature the chair has introduced a new ingenious method for having a wide range of backrests that can easily be flipped around or swapped with another design.
As part of this new feature Jomo has bolstered the number of backrests available for buyers to more than 100 various designs that integrate carvings and painted patterns as well as ways to incorporate various colorful African scarfs. This feature suddenly gives the user endless options to constantly change their home décor effortlessly. The spare designs can also be used as a wall décor or displayed as a totem also serving a dual purpose.