Tosin Oshinowo portrait 4 - photo by Spark Creative


Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based Nigerian architect and designer renowned for her expansive residential and commercial spaces and insights into socially-responsive approaches to urbanism. Much of her work – from conceptual projects to civic master plans- prioritises a vision of architecture and design that is bigger than creating objects and spaces but extends to underscore a more equitable and expansive vision of our shared future.  Deriving inspiration from local Yoruba traditions and the international language of architecture and design, Oshinowo explores pathways for the future from a distinctly African perspective that prioritises equity, sustainability, and respect for nature and history while creating a new, more contemporary language of design.

As an architect, Oshinowo is best known as the founder and principal of Oshinowo Studio (formerly cmDesign Atelier), formed in 2013. Based in Lagos, the practice has undertaken a number of predominantly civic projects, including the design of the Maryland Mall, as well as a wide range of residential projects, including light-filled beach houses on the coast of the oceanside city. Her interest in architecture extends into a broader vision of urbanism and community; she recently completed a project with the United Nations Development Programme in Northeast Nigeria, building an entirely new community for a village displaced by Boko Haram.

Before founding Oshinowo Studio, she worked in the offices of Skidmore Owings & Merrill in London and the Office of Metropolitan Architecture Rotterdam, where she was part of the team that designed the 4th Mainland Bridge proposal in 2008. Returning to Lagos, she practised at James Cubitt Architects and led notable projects, including the master plan and corporate head office building for Nigeria LNG in Port Harcourt.

As a product designer, her work primarily focuses on chair design; in 2017, she created Ile-Ila, which means House of Lines in her native Yoruba language. A luxury brand, Ile-Ila 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 The Financial Times Weekender April 2023,  Grazia (June 2020), Elle Decor (January 2020) and Harper’s Bazaar Interiors (April 2018).

Oshinowo’s work also spans the conceptual sphere, with a strong interest in architectural history and socially responsive approaches to architecture, design and urbanism, underpinned by a passion for supporting African design and innovation. In 2020, she partnered with Lexus on conceptual design explorations for Design Miami, and she has written prolifically on urbanism, African modernism, design and identity in publications including Expansions, a publication for the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale and an essay for the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale catalogue.  Her writing is also included in Omenka Online, and she also explored this topic in her TEDxPortHarcourt talk in November 2017. She co-curated the second Lagos Biennial titled How to Build a Lagoon from a Bottle of Wine? in 2019. As well as curating the 2023 Sharjah Architecture Triennial titled The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability.

Tosin Oshinowo is a registered architect in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, as well as the Royal Institute of the British Architects, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Kingston College in London, a Master’s degree in Development and Planning: Building and Urban Design in Development, University College London;  the AA Diploma from the Architecture Association London, and a Masters in Business for Architecture and Design from IE University, Madrid. She has recently been selected to participate in the 2025 Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.

Tosin Oshinowo has won numerous awards, including the 3rd City People Real Estate Awards for Architect of the Year 2017 and the Lord’s Achievers Awards for Creativity in celebration of World Achievers Day 2019. She was among five finalists for the 2023 Diversity in Architecture Divia Awards; she was included in the AD100 list for the Middle East and named one of The 50 most powerful women in architecture and design by Dezeen for International Women’s Day 2024


Masters in Business for Architecture and Design (MBArch)
IE University Madrid – 2021

AA Postgraduate Diploma (AADipl)
Architecture Association London – 2007

Masters of Science Urban Design in Development (MSc)
Development Planning Unit at The Bartlett
University College London – 2003

Bachelors in Architecture (BSc)
Kingston University London – 2001

Professional Membership

Nigerian Institute of Architects.
Full Member

Royal Institute of British Architects International Member


Field Notes on Scarcity - Tosin Oshinowo Contributed to Field Notes on Scarcity

Field Notes on Scarcity 
A Pathway Forward – essay

The Laboratory of the Future 
Venice Biennial 2023 Exhibition catalogue 
Conditions of Scarcity – essay

Havard Design Magazine F/W 23
Do you see this emerging model changing the space of curatorial practice in design and is so how ? – Contributor

Expansions: responses to how we live 
Venice Biennial 2021 publication Shaping site and forming community: Reflections on the second Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Art – essay

The Monocle Companion: Fifty essays for a Brighter Future
What architects can learn from lagos – essay


Monocle Design Awards
2024 Top Architect for Community

The 50 most powerful women in architecture and design 

AD100 Middle East  
2024 Creative

100 Women 
2023 Architects in Practice RIBA

Divia Award
2023 Shortlisted

100 Women Lagos State Governor 
2022 International Woman’s Day recognition

Lords Achievers Award 
2019 Creative category

City People Awards
2017 Architect of the Year