As a child, Tosin Osinowo was quite creative and pretty decent at technical drawing. When she was about 12 years old, her father commissioned and built his intended retirement home in Ikorodu, and she took an active interest in it. She understood the plans and even picked her room out. She recalls accompanying my father on many occasions to the construction site.

“I have always had a good understanding of space, materiality and light, it seemed like an obvious choice,” she says.  Kolade Oshinowo, one of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary artists is my uncle, so creativity runs in the family. “However, I opted to go in the science direction of art. What I love so much about architecture is being able to conceptualize then realize the ‘stuff of dreams’, then occupy the actual space,” she explained further.

Her first project was actually an interior fit-out job. We designed the very first Café Neo outlet, and the brand has now become associated with the emerging creative economy in Lagos. “It was a great starting point as we were given just a logo but created the concept for the interior. Much of what you see in Cafe Neo today is based on this aesthetic, she reveals.

In 2016, she and her team completed the GTBank Fashion Weekend overall master plan and interior layout design.

Our society is a very patriarchal one, and, in all walks of life, the views and the opinions of women can be dismissed not because they are wrong, but because they are women.

This much is true of architecture, too, as architect Tosin Oshinowo has revealed in an interview with BBC.

Female architects in the country “need a thick skin,” she said, sharing an instance when she cried out of a site because she was being disrespected.

She also discussed her style: afro-minimalism, revealing her love for clean lines and minimal but functional designs.



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