IN CONVERSATION WITH

ZOE-CHELSEA OKUNGBOWA

ARCHITECT / DESIGNER

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HOW ARE YOU?

“How am I?”- when people ask me this question I try not to answer in the most generic way by simply saying “fine”- because it’s a question that can truly bear one’s soul and current state. This question opens up grounds for meaningful conversation and relatability, which I am all about.

Currently, I am in a state of transition… trying to figure out myself creatively and what adulthood actually means, whilst trying so hard to hold on to hold onto my childlike essence. But I guess that is a conversation for another day!

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?

Entangled life by Merlin Sheldrake- don’t let the title deceive you it’s all about fungi - It’s funny because I got this book whilst with Niyi…recently I have had this interest in the mycelium network, which is about how fungi communicate on a vast scale. I want to incorporate an aspect of it in my next design project.

MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY YOU HAVE BEEN TO?

That’s surprisingly a hard question… I resonate more with the energy of cities.
So for now Let’s just say “Lagos”- I know right now all the Nigerians are probably thinking “Haba” haba is a nigerian slang for expressing shock.
I love the juxtaposition of Lagos from poverty to wealth, happiness to sadness, old and new… etc the list is endless… but It’s a true depiction of life in its rawest and finest form. Which is beautiful.

But Aesthetically- Barcelona.

HOW IMPORTANT IS CULTURE TO YOUR WORK?

I would say “culture” - is the unspoken important element in my work because usually I flow by interests and my interests are rooted indirectly In a subculture of people, things, and places. 

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT TAKING PICTURES?

I love the freedom of being able to capture and portray something from my perspective.

IS THERE AN ELEMENT OF ARCHITECTURE IN YOUR WORK AND HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WORK?

I would say it’s the other way around my photography/ view of the world influences my Architecture and design. To elucidate, I might draw out shapes or forms from images I have taken or even try and recreate a certain feeling or moment that I have captured. For example, in a space that forces people to interact how can I implement it in an architectural space?

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?

Jaded- by Drake
Forbidden feelings- by Nia Archives
Slipping away- by Leisure

Do what you want with that selection because its sporadicalness is a reflection of my mind!

IS IT POSSIBLE TO JUDGE ART OBJECTIVELY?

Nooooo…. Art is so subjective it means so many things to different people. To hell, we don’t even understand ourselves in all its entirety.

DID YOU HAVE A SPIRITUAL UPBRINGING AND DO YOU THINK IT AFFECTED HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD TODAY?

My upbringing was rooted in Christianity. Luckily for me, my parents are very spiritual compared to the usual “doctrine” Christian ( yes I air quoted)- they taught me about the divine will of God and everyone and everything having a role to play… in essence, we all make up a bigger whole of the main picture and to think I am more important than my fellow companions… is selfish
So when I view the world I try to truly connect through love and understanding with everyone around me and help bring the best out of them to help them fulfill their role/ higher purpose.

 

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