12 August 2020
5 Mins Read
The Nurture of Funfere’s Curiosity, A Fuel for Design Innovations
Funfere Koroye is a Nigerian industrial designer and product developer who has designed a wide range of products that takes into account the uniqueness of a West African consumer.
Funfere is one with natural curiosity. He had an early start in deconstructing toys and appliances to understand their workings as a toddler. This act unravelled his mind beyond what he was being taught in school and he went out of his way to discover his passion- design, which to him means changing the world, putting a dent in the universe and a Godly and important act. With curiosity as his liberating force, he pushed beyond limits and fired up innovations in technology globally.
With a strong passion for creating and designing, and drawing inspiration from Steve Jobs and Dieter Rams, Funfere trod that path by bagging Bachelors and Masters degrees in Industrial and Product Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia and Domus Academy, Italy, respectively.
Focusing on sneaker design, furniture design, appliance design, packaging design, motorcycle design, sustainable design and humanitarian design, Funfere Koroye started off designing footwear, then mobile phones and packaging for the food and beverage industry. He has worked with JUMP Footwear, African Basket Ball League and Tecno Mobile. He currently works as a Design Director and Footwear Engineer at Thandos and as a Brand Designer and Packaging Developer at Fusion Design Lab. He is also a co-founder of a tech and design startup- The Nupe Project, an initiative focused on solving the many challenges affecting many third world countries specifically, while simultaneously fostering the ignored 1% of African talent in hardware development.
Funfere is an innovative designer whose work process, for over six years, include sketching, 3D modelling and hands-on prototyping. He starts with a problem that a hardware can solve, after which he conducts a research on the users. Then, his next step is to make sure he creates an existing product from the market and if none exists, he creates one from scratch. Over time, these processes have helped him prepare designs and specifications of products, both virtual and physical and he has helped businesses reach their customers more efficiently.
Funfere Koroye’s skillset which spans across several industries has received global recognition in Africa, China, Italy and Australia. He is a recipient of The Lord’s Achievers Awards for Innovation and a nomination for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Technology- 2019, to mention a few.
Funfere’s heart and genuine compassion for helping many individuals inspire him to design. He has had the opportunity to design, plan and develop industrial, commercial and consumer products for mass manufacture. Some of his innovations include designing a diffuser system which repels insects by using a mist system and an automated timer, and a tube-like water filter that fits into most regular plastic bottles with the sole purpose of distilling unclean water inexpensively.
Also, in 2018, working with a Tanzanian company named and his team at the Nupe Project designed an energy hub distribution model to provide affordable electricity in every single home in off- rid communities.
Funfere’s biggest challenge is that the country is slow in enforcing change due to poor governance which has increased the poverty rate and has caused people to focus on getting their daily bread rather than seeking knowledge on how to move the country forward. However, he appreciates the power of social media which has given him a platform to reach more people with his message.
For great knowledge of the product design career, Funfere recommends blogs and resources such as Dezeen, Art Daily, Yanko Design, Concept Kicks, Furniture Details and Goods We Love. He advises young designers who want to follow his footsteps to derive joy and satisfaction in consistently coming up with hardware solutions to make lives better, just as he does.
Funfere Koroye opines that Nigeria’s education system is a bit lacklustre in the field of technology but he believes that curiosity is the fuel that fires up innovation in technology anywhere in our world.
Funfere Koroye works with the amazing team of Michael Omotosho, Dami Onanuga, Ifedayo Ojo and Anjola Badaru on the Nupe Project. The team has experience in hardware manufacturing.
Funfere Koroye aims to be at the frontline of hardware development in the continent and work with large enterprises like Dangote or Mobil to show that design thinking can take African companies from brands to innovative experiences and to use design innovation to improve the lives of millions.