I stumbled on Morayo Koleosho’s work through a close friend of mine, a few weeks ago and I was so in awe of her work, I knew I had to reach her and get to understand the spirit behind her work.
Morayo Koleosho is one of those people who aren’t afraid to combine and live out their diverse creative stirrings, like TY Bello, someone who has decided to give herself all the mental space to live in freedom and unlimited artistic expression.
Morayo is an Architect and a Photographer. She has worked as an Architect for about 4 years, teaching Architecture for a year and then practicing till today. As a photographer, Morayo has volunteered at AAF, Slum-2-School and a number of Projects that move humanity forward.
During her year of NYSC in Kano, Morayo combined her love for Photography with her storytelling/humane nature and decided to create a book out of her experience which she titled #HerNorthHerStory. She chronicled her year of Service by sharing her experience of diversity, culture shock and the beauty of immersing one’s self in new cultures.
Here we chat with Morayo and ask her how she conjures all her creative angles.
For Creative Girls: We are so in awe of your prowess! How did you decide on becoming an architect?
Thank you dear. Originally, I chose architecture because my father, whom I greatly admired and still do, is an architect. As time progressed, especially when I was about finishing secondary school, I realised I would not fit appropriately into any other creative field in the Nigerian educational system which at the time, was too fixed for me. I knew I was well mixed; I liked and generally did well in the arts, as well as the sciences. In Nigeria, only the department of Architecture fairly balanced both and added a further air of challenge to its study which intrigued me, so I went for it.
You seem to be crazy about the Storytelling power of Photography, how did you start exploring this side of you to point of creating #Hernortherstory?
Lol at crazy. Let’s blame it on Looney Tunes and Enid Blyton. I watched a lot of cartoons and read lots of children’s books while growing up. This started my love for stories and pictures. I also remember my father and I binge sighting good images on the internet via online image feeds like Bing. It was then I developed the resilience of viewing several images at a time without getting tired or bored.
So, it is simple really, #Hernortherstory is basically a reflection of my childhood. You find my book is expressed in words, pictures and cartoon-like drawings, which are all different forms of storytelling.
Does this storytelling nature come to play in being an Architect?
Of course, architecture incorporates the laws of storytelling even if the narrative is different. Like other forms of art e.g. music, architecture speaks a language that its final users called experience, which is its most final story. In getting to that point, some sort of story is sold from the client to the architect to the team and then back and forth. The message(s) is further developed into drawings and timelines, which results in the evolution of the construction of the structure. It is finessed or changed until the narrative arrives at its initial final point.
Do you doodle every day? And how do you get inspiration for architectural designs?
No, I do not. I get inspiration from reading, researching, listening, watching movies, consulting with fellow architects and friends; the usual inspiration getting stuff really.
We like to understand how routines help productivity. Do you have a daily routine? What does your daily routine look like?
Routines for me help create a system that forces you to produce. It’s like the saying, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. I have a relatively monotonous life which typically starts with waking up at around 6:30am, praying, getting ready for work, dashing off and getting to work, writing my to do, getting to it, finishing from work, getting home, cooking, reading or watching a series, speaking to my loved one(s), praying and then sleeping at about past 11 pm. I plan my personal productivity into this routine. Boring but effective. #smiles
What’s your definition of Creativity? How do you see the concept of being creative?
Creativity for me is the ability to make connections (mostly in your mind) of the theories, ideas, sceneries, patterns, images, audios, words and feelings that you consciously and unconsciously stored, to solve a problem, to answer a yearning or to create something ‘new’ you believe in.
I can say though that I do believe in creativity, I believe we all possess this ability, I believe it is what has brought us thus far and what will carry us on.
Photography VS Architecture on a scale, which would you lean towards more? How do you harness these two sides fantastically well?
My goals, aspirations, and priorities evolve or totally change with the different life stages I enter. I am now in my Personal and Career development life stage where I currently lean more towards architecture. I see me leaning more towards photography in my next stage which is Building a Family and Legacy. Photography and architecture are my tools, so will other parts of me that I discover, like writing, I will be able per time to wield them in my favour so I am not leaning as such towards any, I enjoy all.
Tell us 3 of your favorite buildings in the world.
Just three?! That is hard! Okay then, I really like Demas Nwoko’s architecture, all of them. I love Habitat 67, designed by the Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. And I really like The Milwaukee Art Museum by Santiago Calatrava. I will cheat by adding Peter Zumthor to this list, love his works generally, and Frank Llyod Wright’s falling waters… okay, okay, that is enough. I wish more African or African-American architects were given historical spotlights though. Oh well, Demas is our hero, lol.
Give us a few architectural resources/websites that women starting out in the career should know and bask in.
Please develop a habit of reading a vast range of books and studies, and as for websites, do check out:
The Architectural Imagination online course by edX (Harvard)… they should start you off right.