About Us

Africa's Premier Canvas Designer and Tent Fabricator

Founded on imagination 

Jan Allan. As a teen, his parents let him cut off the front of the house to add a veranda. As a young adult, he built a house of straw bales because he thought it would work. It was a first-of-its-kind in Kenya, and straw bales became a choice building material. To pay back a loan, Jan built a tree house – from the top down.

People in Kenya took notice of Jan's unique perspective and creative flair. He opened a design business, architecting homes that reflected the personalities of their owners.

Elemental ingenuity

Today Jan's one-man-show has evolved into ByDesign and Canvas ByDesign – two sister companies renowned for creativity and quality in the design and manufacture of fabric based structures for camp and lodges, and artisan inflatable products. Working with an international clientele of hoteliers, venue owners and investors, we have a reputation for addressing customer needs with a conscientious blend of cost, form, function and environmental sensitivity.

"The world is but a canvas to the imagination. "
- Henry David Thoreau