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In Architecture, I Can’t Underestimate Traveling & Absorbing Information To Stay Ahead Of The Game – Tosin Oshinowo

In Architecture, I Can't Underestimate Traveling & Absorbing Information To Stay Ahead Of The Game - Tosin Oshinowo

Meet Tosin Oshinowo, the contemporary architect commanding attention in Nigeria’s creative design spaces. You probably already know her or some of her designs – a popular one is the Maryland Mall, Illashe beach houses.


Her designs alone are not what brought Tosin Oshinowo into my focus. Actually, it’s her punchy eyeglasses that did it. You can’t miss them. Her statement glasses are candy to the eyes. I’m sure if she didn’t have her hands full, heading cmDesign Atelier and Ile Ila lifestyle furniture designs, this stylish architect would have a swell time designing her own luxury eyeglasses.

Well, till that time comes. For now, Tosin continues to shatter glass ceilings in architecture and design, which has us wondering, how does this woman do it? Juggle two successful businesses, stay prominent in a male-dominated industry, manage speaking engagements, and all the time being a mom?

If you had fifteen minutes alone with this creative ace, what would you want to know? A lot of Industry secrets and a pinch of personal?

Thriving in a male-dominated industry

“The nature of architecture involves cost and risk. People naturally are apprehensive for a young person, let alone a woman, to take on such a task” she said in an interview with The Guardian, as far back as 2018. But this hardly the case anymore as Tosin has proved herself capable of delivering sustainable, cutting-edge designs. 

Starting a business, you need street credibility. Building credibility takes time, plus consistently producing the best.

“Well, let’s be real, we are very sexist in Nigeria. So, you will always encounter people who are small-minded and will address you in despicable manners. I come from a family of three girls, and we were not raised with any form of gender-consciousness. We were raised knowing that you need to be able to sort yourself out; you need a good education to be able to stand on your own. The important thing is not to walk around with a chip on your shoulder or feel victimised.”

Working with male colleagues

Architecture is a male-dominated industry. Not because we have more male architects, but because even down to contractors, builders, developers, all the major stakeholders involved in bringing a design to life are mostly men.
Tosin reveals that the secret to thriving in such an environment lies in these things:

  • Knowing how to work with people
  • Comporting yourself well, which is necessary, if you want to be taken seriously.

Staying Relevant

She opines that the key to staying on top of the game is a deep interest in what you do. Keep learning, add to your knowledge base.

As an Architect, I can’t underestimate the importance of traveling and absorbing information to stay ahead of the game

Find out more in the vlog below.

Under 40 CEOs - Tosin Oshinowo

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MORE LINKS:

DESIGN MIAMI: Tosin Oshinowo and Chrissa Amuah Partner with Lexus – Design233.com

TOSIN OSHINOWO: ILASHE BEACH – Design233.com

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Featured Images: @TosinOshinowo

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