Ella Bulley was designer-in-residence at the Design Museum in London in 2018. The theme of the residency was ‘Dwelling.’  Ella explored the modern nomadic lifestyle of expats and repats, specifically Ghanaian expats living in the UK; and repats, or returning expats to Ghana and children of expats (TCK’s) born outside of Ghana. Her investigation into these social groups revealed the way the interiors of their habitations evolve.

Ella’s body of work, ‘Inter-Patria’ commissioned by the Design Museum, is concerned with objects that honour ritual and adaptation. Bulley sought to turn tradition and customs into tangible and functional artefacts. These objects then become physical, collectible memories that help Ghanaian expats and repats adapt to new dwellings through material exploration.

The Mixology Tablet

This first artefact is called ‘Mixology Tablet.’ Anyone who has ever lived abroad can relate to the adventure or frustration in trying to find familiar ingredients or medicines. As the Ghanian expat adapts to their new environment, access to materials and ingredients can result in an evolution of traditional practices related to cooking, cosmetics and medicine. The Mixology Tablet is an homage to this experience and provides a sacred place for exploration and alchemy.

To see more of Bulley’s beautiful work, head over to the Design Museum if you are in London. Entrance is free. Explore her previous work on her website, ellabulley.com.


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All female line up in this year’s Designers in Residence featured on Dezeen, discussing our projects responding to the theme Dwelling.

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