How long have you been working within the Industry?
My growth as a professional has not followed the 'standard' model. I finished my first degree in 2001 but finished my second degree in architecture In 2007 after working for a year and taking a separate degree in urban design in Development. Therefore, 2007 is my actual start in the industry.
What made you want to step up into your Senior Role?
I am a business director of my architecture practice and this involves management of the business, design direction and business development. My senior role came about when I set up my practice in 2012. First, I worked for a few companies as an intern, as a junior architect and then as a project architect. With the experience I had gained, and on completing my professional exams, I was confident and eager to take on design commissions and crave a design direction in line with my values and aspirations.
How did you get to where you are now? Did you always know what you wanted to do?
I always knew it was architecture, but I did have some deviations from the standard professional registration route. For A-levels, I did Physics, Maths and Art. I finished my first degree in Architecture from Kingston University in 2001. I finished my second degree in architecture from the Architecture Association in 2007 after working for a year and taking a separate degree in Urban Design in Development from the Development Planning Unit at the University College London.
I also went back to school recently and completed a Master’s in Business for Architecture and Design from IE University Madrid in 2022.
How do you stay motivated to keep going everyday and push past the challenges of your role?
I tend to keep my eye on the end goal – it can be challenging when you know that sometimes you have been sidelined at work or your opinions have not been considered, and you know the reason is they are not valued because you are a woman. The only way to knock the stereotype is to deliver better than expected. So, I keep going by the aspiration of the end goal, seeing the completed project – achievement is the most fulfilling feeling.
I love the feeling of seeing the completed project.”
My name is Tosin Oshinowo, and I am a Lagos-based Nigerian Architect and Designer. I founded my architecture practice, cmDesign Atelier, in 2012. We have completed residential and commercial projects and insights into socially-responsive approaches to urbanism.
As a Product Designer, my work primarily focuses on the design of chairs; in 2017, I created Ilé-Ilà, which means House of Lines in her native Yoruba language. As a luxury brand, Ilé-Ilà chairs are made to order, designed and handmade in Lagos and have been featured as a highlight of contemporary African furniture design in publications around the world, including Harper's Bazaar Interiors April 2018, Elle Decor January 2020, and Grazia online June 2020.