On a surface level, two contrasting natures collide in senior designer Enoch Kolo: the structured rigour of architecture and the flowing creativity of music composition.
But look closer and you'll find that Enoch has much more in store for the right beholder. Grown up with, in his own words, 'over-achieving parents,' he spent the early years of his life dreaming about a career in music, a dream he still (quietly) cultivates to date. He may have chosen architecture... But he could never escape the caring embrace of music.
For this Member Spotlight, we will be hearing from a dreamer and achiever, a passionate creative who was able to get the best of two worlds and build a life aspiration. After all, what is music but the beauty of stealing the very structure of nature?
How did you get into the industry?
I had a tutor back at uni, Farida Makki, who saw that I had a natural way of explaining things visually without having to explain a project verbally. So I read up on this matter and decided to pursue a career in Arch Viz, rather than the usual architectural route.
I’m now based in London and work at Zaha Hadid Architects.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
Music! That was my dream (still kinda is)... but with strict over-achieving parents, they weren’t going to let me pursue that solely. Yes they supported me, but wanted me to have a ‘professional’ degree, just in case!
Can you explain your creative process?
Most of the time I work in a reverse-engineered way. I hear what the clients request and start painting a picture in my head of the finished process. I then break that down into elements and start filling these up using case studies, previous projects I’ve worked on, and the odd daily life experiences here and there. During the entire process, the final image/message remains constant, but the delivery of it warps as ideas are tested and improved upon to enhance the narrative.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
LOADS! Visualization before the advancement of technology used to be drawing perspectives with your hand, or taking photographs and making a collage. Now, you can build an entire world from your imagination. It’s gone from producing still images, to immersing clients in their own buildings that are yet to be built, to real time designing. But one thing that won’t change is that technology is a tool, it cannot replace the creative mind.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Asking why! Why was this made that way? Why did they do that like that?
I’m inquisitive and as they say, information is power; so I tend to want to know the brains behind something. That always keeps me on my toes because I’m always learning. That, and learning/being challenged by fellow creatives in any industry.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
I have a few. But my design thesis for my M.Arch pt II which was short listed for the RIBA president medal award put a big smile on my face and my strict parents!
How do you recharge away from the office?
Making music and playing basketball. These two things keep me sane.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Do not be afraid to go against the grain. Find your Unique Selling Point and drive that home. Most places were confused when I graduated as to where I fit in the Architecture industry but I knew I was great at visual communication and that was/is the reason I’ve worked at some top practices globally.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That it becomes more about the arts and less about the artist! Hire people based on what they bring to the table, not their gender, race, social status and so on. We’re getting there, but it could be better for sure!
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Tricky. But, I’d change the way we get compensated, ha! It’s great to create, but that term ’starving artist’ needs to be eradicated somehow.