The Department of Architecture, University of Lagos has honoured the works and legacy of Nigeria’s foremost Artist-designer and Architect, Demas Nwoko.
The event took place at the forecourt of the departmental building on Monday, November 14, 2022, and had in attendance, many Fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and accomplished professionals in the built environment field.
Leading the gale of tributes that poured in for the icon was the former Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Professor Duro Oni.
In his words, “Uncle Nwoko taught me at the University of Ibadan in 1981. He was one of the multitalented lecturers that we had. He was the ultimate Renaissance man who was just very good at everything”.
Accolades also came in for the elderly Architect from members of the Nigerian Institute of Architecture (NIA) drawn from different state branches. They all extolled his pioneering efforts and thanked him for the intellectual foundation he laid for successive generations of artists and architects to build upon.
In his address to the gathering, the celebrated designer of the Dominican Institute, Ibadan, expressed his appreciation for the honour. He encouraged the audience to be conversant with their environment and to take more than a passing interest in its development.
The Head, Department of Architecture, Dr. Tony Iweka, spoke on the reasoning behind the event. He described it as a conscious effort of UNILAG Architecture to lead a rebirth of the teaching and practice of Architecture in Nigeria. It also doubled as a forum for the projection of the seminal works of Demas Nwoko.
“The least you can be is to be relevant to your environment. You must live with a sense of responsibility to both human and nature; and it is not too late to start. As my late mother would say, “The day is still morning”. Even for me, at my age, it is still morning. Therefore, I urge you all to rouse yourselves and get to work. I thank you all for coming”.
Highpoint of the event was the launching of two books authored by the octogenarian, Demas Nwoko. They are “Concrete Thinking”, a compilation of his writings on Art, Design and Architecture over 20 years; and “The Happy Little African Prince”, a family-friendly collection of stories that detail the author’s upbringing and his relationship with the environment.
Staff, students, and alumni of the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos were also present at the event to honour the leading pioneer of Nigeria’s modern art movement.