British-Nigerian designer Mimi Shodeinde grew up in London with her mother, who ran several businesses, and her father, a formally trained architect. While Shodeinde knew she would eventually land in a creative field, she didn’t immediately pinpoint where. “I’ve always loved art and creating beautiful things,” she explains.
After studying advertising for a year at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, she switched courses to interior design. “From that moment, I knew it was for me,” she says. “I see interiors and design as an extension of art, [and] my early love of that has translated into my design work.”
Just halfway through her degree, Shoedeinde decided to launch Miminat Designs. And by 2018, the her London-based studio was fully realized, offering products, residential, and commercial design work.
Though Shodeinde is quick to rattle off inspiration—there’s nature, her travels, and her self-proclaimed obsession with aeronautics—she also credits industry icons Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lina Bo Bardi. These seemingly disparate influences converge in her work, which she admits can be “contradictory in some senses—Brutalist but also soft and feminine in some elements.”
Working with craftspeople across the UK and Europe, Shodeinde’s product designs include everything from objects and lighting to furniture. There’s the Howard series (inspired by aviation titan Howard Hughes), which features a desk, daybed, table, and sofa with subtle, plane-inspired silhouettes.
Then there’s her Omi Table, which emulates a crashing wave with a wavy base of handcarved mahogany supporting a thin glass top. “With my products, I’m trying to capture an emotion, a sense of movement, and for them to be seen less as functional pieces but as sculptures, to be treasured like you might art,” says Shodeinde.
A version of this article originally appeared in HD’s 2022 Product Marketplace issue.