Man Crib in Abuja

Small Space, Big Style: a sleeping nook for guests. Traditional West African sleeping mats as room dividers create distinct, comfortable spaces.

Man Crib in Abuja

Between 2012-14, AfriMod team members made several trips to West Africa to build connections with artists, designers and craft-makers. The Wuse II neighborhood of Abuja, Nigeria was our homebase and to accommodate team members and stay within budget (Abuja is quite an expensive city), we had to be creative to make our rental space work.

Man Crib in Abuja

The natural texture of reeds integrated seamlessly into the Africa-inspired and global modern style we sought for our living room.

Our need for an additional private sleeping space for guests led to the evolution of the ManCrib.

Man Crib in Abuja

Working with local carpenters, we framed large traditional sleeping mats (made from interwoven reeds) to create room dividers that were subsequently used to define distinct functional spaces.

These room dividers especially came in handy when we needed to create a sleeping space within the living room. We fastened a couple of the dividers to the head and side of a bed and placed it against a wall.

Man Crib in Abuja

An additional divider functioned as a movable enclosure, which when positioned created a cozy, sleeping nook akin to a crib, hence the ManCrib.

Man Crib in Abuja

These dividers were configured in such a way as to provide privacy for guests, yet allowing for connections to the rest of the space.

Man Crib in Abuja

In this project, we achieved an oasis in the living room...

Man Crib in Abuja

...a small nook for guests to rest, sleep and read. The weave of the reed mats allowed diffused light to filter through to create a comfortable ambiance.

Man Crib in Abuja

Here, a room divider provides a natural, textured backdrop to a Regency chair reupholstered with local handmade batik fabric. A handwoven grass floor mat adds color and pattern, while a Nupe stool from the village of Giri, just outside of Abuja, functions as a side table.

Man Crib in Abuja

These, and most mats, are often woven by rural farmers after the harvest. Obtained from Gombe, Nigeria (to the North-East of Abuja), these mats are actually traditional sleeping mats that, without the wood frames, easily roll-up for storage or transportation.

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