Ifeanyi Oganwu, Architect & Designer

Ifeanyi Oganwu is the founder of Expand Design Ltd, a London-based studio with a unique take on architecture and furniture design
Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao and Ifeanyi Oganwu

Ifeanyi Oganwu is the founder of Expand Design Ltd, a London-based studio with a unique take on architecture and furniture design. His work fuses craftsmanship and digital technology inspired by the world around him.

Now celebrating ten years, Ifeanyi Oganwu offers insights into his design process. They cover his background, influences, and unique approach to materials. While we view his work aesthetically, Ifeanyi has a more mathematical and formal way of discussing his work. He sees himself as separate from what he produces.

Learn where Ifeanyi has been and where the next ten years will take him!

In this episode, we talk about:

  • 00:00: Welcome and introductions to Ifeanyi Oganwu
  • 1:27: Discussing why Ifeanyi started Expand Design, his futurist creations, and celebrating craftsmanship
  • 5:24: Ifeanyi’s thought process behind designing and sustainability
  • 10:23: Having a “hands off” approach in his work
  • 12:43: How long the process takes and working through roadblocks
  • 13:45: Separating himself from the work and its accolades
  • 16:24: What Expand Design means and the influences of his travels
  • 18:56: Ifeanyi’s background, moving from Nigeria to Chicago for university
  • 21:45: Being experimental in his childhood
  • 23:47: Early artistic influences from Benin
  • 26:17: The “maths” in life; how mathematics plays a role in design
  • 27:31: Not really caring about who’s bought his work and a pinch-me moment
  • 29:57: Making the decision to start his business and what’s next
  • 32:53: Advice for those considering exploring materials and design
  • 33:56: Where to find Ifeanyi Oganwu’s work in the real world and digitally
  • 37:40: The correct pronunciation of his name
  • 39:19: Thanks and wrap-up

Mentioned Resources

About Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao attended Grenoble Ecole De Management where she received a Master’s in International Business. She also holds a Bsc (Hons) in Informatics. She is mother, an international and entrepreneurial leader. The Founder and Managing director of Malée Natural Science; Africa’s 1st global luxury fragrance and body care brand operating across two continents with products available in 9 countries in wholesale, B2B, Hospitality, E-commerce and travel retail. An advisory board member and Program director at INNOCOS, the world beauty innovations summit as well as a consultant and international speaker and beauty industry expert on the luxury beauty and cosmetics industry, sustainability practices, innovation, disruption, trends and brand heritage.

Featured in international TV and Media publications such as CNN, The Telegraph, Grazia, ELLE Magazine, Glamour, Oprah Magazine and Atlanta Post. She is a pioneer of Female owned luxury business in Africa and is passionate about innovation. Zeze is the host of the pioneering podcast Third Culture Africans. She shares entrepreneurial tips and more on her personal website Zezeonline.com