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“Just enjoy it.” That’s what furniture designer Mimi Shodeinde tells people when they ask of her designs, “What’s that for?”

The 26-year-old lives in London’s South Kensington district, working from a two-floor apartment where she dreams up furniture more akin to sculpture.

Take, for instance, her Omi Table, launched in 2018 and released with a new marble top in 2020. The table’s parametric base is made from 368 wood veneers stacked to emulate water’s movement. The idea came from a trip back home to Nigeria when Mimi visited Makoko, a floating region in Lagos. “I love the way it looks when they row the wooden boats through the water. I thought, ‘How can I take this and make a piece of furniture?’”

She says the result is her most powerful piece. “There aren’t many furniture designers of African descent. It was very important to me to in some way incorporate my heritage and my culture in my work.”

Mimi, whose father was an architect, says she’s essentially self-taught when it comes to furniture design, though she studied interior architecture. “I love texture and drawing and painting. I still paint when I get stuck and don’t know what to design.”

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Mimi Shodeinde is an award-winning British Nigerian artist and designer who got her degree in interior architecture at Edinburgh. Based in London, Miminat Designs was founded in 2015. Photo courtesy of Mimi Shodeinde

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 05 with the headline “Mimi Shodeinde: Furniture Designer, London, United Kingdom.” Subscribe today.