Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Studio location: Lagos.
Describe what you make: My professional background is in designing and manufacturing consumer electronics (medical devices, mobile phones, phones accessories). In my studio, I concentrate more on making furniture, installations, sculpture, and products.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The LM stool, which I designed around a generator casing manufacturing facility in Lagos in 2017. It taught me how to navigate and interact with Lagos’s maker culture.
Describe the problem your work solves: My work acts as an archive to the context in which Lagos and West Africa is when it comes to materiality and form. My aim is to create or have a dialogue around why these materials matter and exist, which is why I always place emphasis on communicating the how, why, and when around each project or piece.
Describe the project you are working on now: On average, I’m working on three to five projects at a time. The most recent is my second North American Showcase at Design Miami/, called Tales by Moonlight, which is the main entrance piece for this year’s Design Miami Omi Iyo. Tales by Moonlight is a title inspired by a TV series I grew up watching in the ‘90s. This furniture series was birthed through my curiosity with Owode Onirin, one of West Africa’s biggest metal scrap yards and metal markets. It looks into how consumption in the North is making way for the introduction of recycled and reused materials, in this case aluminum.
Another project is a commission for the entrance and curatorial statement for Design Miami/, called “Where We Stand: Reflections on Place & Purpose.” The piece, called Omi Iyo, was conceived in response to the journey of undocumented migrants from Africa to Europe. It references the hull of a boat, the primary mode of transport for this hidden (outside of the staggering tragedies that have recently made international headlines), dangerous, and often fatal journey. It’s made out of polished stainless steel and filled with salt to the brim. The salt will flow on the floor of the fair’s entrance for five days, symbolizing the interaction, emotional, and memorable role that salt plays in the journey.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: My first European museum show, scheduled for next summer, that will showcase findings from my research project “Africa – A Designer.” The project looks to document and archive unauthorized Indigenous designed objects that have found their way into our daily lives.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Optimism!
What you do when you’re not working: I’m obsessed with my fitness and health. I’m also obsessed with a good design book and a good designed book.
Sources of creative envy: My source of creativity comes from my city. I’m not envious of any other space or place because I feel Lagos has all I need and what it takes to be creative.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Smartphones. I love and hate them, but I feel like my life revolves around this little device now. I would love to not depend on it as much as I do.
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts.
Dark or light? Light.
(Portrait photography by Erik Benjamins.)