Raised by Design: Susan on the Path of Purpose

Meet Susan Onigbinde, the Founder of DODO Design Agency

Susan Onigbinde

Susan Onigbinde was a student at Savannah College of Arts and Design, Georgia, when her childhood passion for design set her feet on the path of purpose. There, she obtained her first and second degrees before proceeding to start DODO Design Agency – the Lagos-based company through which she deploys her creative ingenuity to help businesses win the hearts of their customers.

In retrospect, Susan recalls with relish the immense encouragement she earned from her parents: as a child, she visited museums and art galleries during family travels and her father always encouraged her to do “a-drawing-a-day”, a task that had indelible impact on her long before her creative journey took shape at SCAD.

To Susan, the reality of design and creativity is that it is a problem-solving mandate from God; one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon humans. She believes strongly that one of the design’s powerful impact on problem solving is the innate human characters like trust and understanding that it brings to the process.

With a background in branding and graphic design, Susan, in ten years, has carved out her path to learn, master and specialize in design strategy, business design and UI/UX design. She has worked and studied alongside other creative geniuses from US-based companies like Frog Design and IDEO.

Susan sits at the center of a dynamic industry; new tools, new trends and new challenges emerging daily. Yet she sticks to her inner vision of an improved entity. So whether it’s a system, service or product, she imagines only the manifold possibilities for improvement. She encourages young designers to take a cue; to read every book on design and business they find, to look beyond the software and drill down and focus more on the core processes and principles of design.
In the future that she sees, more and more designers will drive solutions and creative innovations to tackle global problems. Proof of this is when Susan and a team were called upon to help the Rockefeller Foundation (and Pyxera Global) use design to figure out Nigeria tomato loss problem, post-harvest.

On what her design process looks like, Susan says she always starts with the person experiencing the problem. She seems to be saying: It’s not about the clients, but about the clients’ customers. Her focus, always, are the final consumers.

Susan Onigbinde is inspired by the great works of Hartmut Esslinger, Howard Schultz, Tony Fadell, Jony Ives, Dieter Rams, Don Norman, Steve Jobs and Paula Scher. She leads the team at DODO Nigeria, where her calling, purpose and passion for design and Nigeria find tangible expression.

Photography By – Gbemiga August

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