Our Woman Crush Wednesday goes to award-winning architect, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, as well as a speaker, radio host, and author, Olajumoke Olufunmilola Adenowo.
She is the founder of the boutique architecture and interior design firm AD Consulting, based in Lagos, Nigeria. CNN described her as “Africa’s Starchitect” and The Guardian (Nigeria) has described her as “the face of Architecture in Nigeria”
The 50-year-old was featured in the world’s foremost architectural journal Architectural Record, holds many honorary degrees, and has spoken at many summits and conferences including the Global Women’s Forum and Harvard Business School (African Business Club). She hosts a syndicated radio show on leadership “Voice of Change”.
Olajumoke Adenowo is a Multiple Award-winning Nigerian Architect and thought leader who is a firm favourite of the youth of Africa. In a continent where ethnicity is a strong consideration her appeal cuts across national borders as she is popularly referred to as “The Face of Nigerian Architecture “ (coined by the Guardian newspapers, Nigeria’s Starchitect by CNN , voted all across Africa the New African Business Woman of the Year , the most Inspiring Business Woman , One of the Top Most Powerful Ten Most Powerful African Women in Business she features regularly on the Annual lists of Most Influential Nigerians, and Most Influential Nigerian Women published by the Youth. She is unique in her space for the respect she commands for her decades-long philanthropic activities. Her philanthropy expressed through her faith-based NGO Awesome Treasures Foundation is an expression of her persona as an Architect as a Social Engineer.
Olajumoke is a thought leader in her field. She is a speaker of choice at conferences on the Arts and Architecture, Gender Issues, Women’s Empowerment. She is noted for her ability to speak on Architecture which a passion and clarity that is infectious to wide audiences. Olajumoke has been featured in Architectural Record, CNN, Fortune International and many other global publications.
Born to two professors, (a Professor of History and a Professor of Criminology) Olajumoke has always been precocious – admitted at the age of 14 to study Architecture at the University of Ife considered one of Africa’s Best Universities with the reputation of being the most beautiful campus in Africa – Her approach to Architecture was honed growing up and studying for decades on a campus designed by Award-winning Bauhaus trained Arieh Sharon (between 1962-1972). Arieh Sharon one of Israel’s top Architects worked on numerous award-winning projects in Israel and worked directly with David Ben Gurion as Director and Chief Architect of the Israeli National Planning Authority.
The University of Ife takes pride of place as an iconic example of his best work – a panorama of modernist architecture on the scale of a grand campus built on 20km2 of 53km2 bequeathed to the University by the Monarch of the ancient Ile Ife kingdom, considered to be the cradle The Architecture is modernist Bauhaus inspired Architecture filtered through the prism of the Architect’s interpretation of the cultural context and the functional matrix of the climatic demands of the tropics . For a youngster who had always had architecture as part of her psyche after her interest in Architecture was ignited by experiencing the grand buildings of Paris and the Palais de Versailles as a 3 year old on a European tour with her parents, the campus and its buildings were indelible to her nascent design philosophy, the core lesson being that in its functionality and performance, architecture must be sensitive to its climactic, technological, infrastructural and physical context . She graduated with the first Distinction in the Master of Science – (A straight-A average) which was a first in the history of the most rigorous and fiercely competitive Architecture program in Nigeria, a feat which was unrivalled for two decades.
She started her own multiple Award-winning Architecture and Interior Architecture Firm AD Consulting Nigeria’s pioneer Interior Architecture Firm. AD is Nigeria’s most awarded Architectural firm and her works are considered seminal trendsetters. Olajumoke has a holistic attention to detail which only a few Architects exhibit. Inspired by the approach of titans such as Frank Lloyd Wright who went as far as to design not just interiors, furniture and cutlery but even a dress for his client , Olajumoke express her innate design abilities beyond the building envelope and this has led to AD carrying out Interior Architecture and Brand Environment commissions including detailed furniture designs and fabrication for the world’s strongest brands such as Coca-Cola International and L’Oreal.