Okocha Obasi’s mission to problem the established order
The graphic designer and art director discusses why he thinks university is a scam, feeling othered, and finding joy in his current design role at creative agency Futurimpose
“If there’s not a space for you, then you have to create it. I think that’s something that has always been quite deep inside of me,” says Okocha Obasi. The 23-year-old has stayed true to these words throughout his journey into the creative industries, which so far has taken him from running his own zine and club night during uni, to being selected for Somerset House’s Young Producers programme, to his current role as a designer at Futurimpose.
Growing up in London, Obasi was fascinated by the creative scene from a young age, and was constantly experimenting with different styles and mediums in his own practice. “On one side of my family, I come from a design and illustration background. I used to be part of a collective when I was 16, so I’ve always had my toes in design and fashion.”
Top: Above and below: Gucci Love Parade campaign by Simmonds Ltd;
Above: Poster for Cktrl music video Mazes, directed by Yasser Abubeker
After doing a short course at Central Saint Martins, Obasi took a leap of faith and ended up studying graphic design at Leeds Arts University. He was the only Black student out of over 70 people on his course and says he often felt “othered” by his personal experience and the overall lack of representation throughout his three years at university.
I think university is a big fucking scam. I don’t really believe that uni sells you the whole package, and then you’re some polished designer by the end of it