Ayo-Oluwa Salawu

Ayo-Oluwa Salawu, I am a second year Architectural Masters Apprentice student at UWE Bristol UK, and I was born in Bermuda

What inspired you to want a life in Architecture and the creative industries?
I was inspired to study architecture as I have always had a love for creating new things and expressing myself artistically. Architecture gives me the opportunity to use these skills to help others bring their dreams to life, and that is something that I am proud to be a part of.

Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture and the creative industries?
I have always had a vision of my future self in mind in which I draw my inspiration from. I aspire to design and build my own home and many others in the future. Alongside this I find inspiration and joy through encouraging others who have similar experiences as myself – I was recently diagnosed with ADHD which I have been learning to understand and except. Additionally, I have minor scoliosis which causes various muscular pains. These are 2 of several challenges I have to overcome and they allow me to keep growing through life daily regardless of what I face.

How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work?
I often have difficulties at work due to my ADHD, therefore I have had multiple conversations with the management team to discuss ways I can feel comfortable and accommodated at work. Some reasonable adjustments have been made to help me manage.

What improvements you feel are required to promote effective change in the academic and working environment?

  • I believe that within the academic and working environment, neurodiversity awareness and understanding is a major area that needs improvement. These sectors remain linear and do not take into account the different learning and working styles we all have. 
  • To help create a change in this, I recently created a personal brand called ‘As Designed’ which focuses on awareness for mental health, neurodiversity and personal development for artists and like-minded individuals – I have started a YouTube channel to share parts of my normal day life with others to show how ADHD affects me. Additionally, I will be talking about the difficulties of studying Architecture, along with some of the frustrations myself and many others in the industry have – ,
  • Additionally, for my design studio and design research modules this year, I have dedicated them to answering the following 2 questions respectively
  • Design Studio – What is Neurodiversity – I am planning on designing a Neurodiversity Museum to teach people about this is and how it effects around 20% of the world population
  • Design Research – How can the workplace create a better environment for individuals with Neurodiverse minds?

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