Designed for Life - In conversation with Michael Omotosho

Published 16th September 2020

Designed for Life - In conversation with Michael Omotosho

The second in the series of 'Designed for Life' podcasts. Set for release 17th September 2020

Michael Omotosho is a freelance Industrial designer based in Bradford and is widely recognised as a young highly talented designer with huge potential. 

Listen to these clips and then listen to the full podcast upon release

In this podcast, the second of a new series brought to you by the Design and Technology Association in partnership with the Edge Foundation, Michael talks us through his foundation years as he was educated in Nigeria. From his earliest years, he noticed how comparatively well off his family was compared to many of his friends at school. His friends compensated for what they were unable to buy through handcrafting toys, Michael was impressed, and an obsession with social design was born. 

Michael's father was in the Nigerian military and was a trained automotive engineer, his mother, a fabric designer. Michael describes his foundation years and how he struggled to find a career pathway. His parents had ideas for Michael to enter medicine or law, but these just didn't flick the switch for a young lad increasingly obsessed with design. 

Following school Michael "blagged" his way onto a degree course in automotive design. He had not achieved the required grades (or subjects) for the course but somehow managed to convince the interviewing panel that he had what it took to make up lost ground. Once on the course, he received a rude awakening as he realised that the course was more about the applied use of mathematics and physics than the drawing and designing that he loved, "they assumed vocabulary that I did not have, what was a washer"? 

Michael dug in deep following the first year at university that he describes as "unimpressive". He realised that to pass; he was going to have to work as he had never worked before. Grit is an overused word; but when you face down your tutor and proclaim that you are going to get a top grade in your final year, despite nothing in your record so far demonstrating that this was a possibility...that shows determination. 

Michael graduated with a first in Automotive Design but had already decided that freelance product and industrial design was where he wanted to be. He has recently launched @Plugull a life product to assist a simple everyday activity. 

This was a fantastic conversation with a very likeable and determined young designer. Michael's story can provide inspiration and guidance for students everywhere!

Look our for our series of podcasts now. Search for Designed for Life where you normally access your favourite podcasts: Apple, Google, Spotify and other podcast platforms.

The next in the Designed for Life Series is Brian Oppenheim, the current D&T HMI for Ofsted which will release on 1st October

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