Shiro Muchiri: “Leadership is the ability to influence people into doing the right thing”

To know when it is necessary to think fast or think slow. I love problem solving and getting an answer or solution to everything effectively. On one of my projects, the structural engineer discovered that the contractor had used the incorrect mix ratio for a reinforced floor plate/slab. The whole thing was done, the reinforced concrete was in the curing stage. This had the potential to throw the whole project off course and off budget by a huge margin. Rather than panic and start a frantic recalibration of the effect this would have — I decided that this would need a very long, slowly thought solution by everyone in the team. No panic, just structured, and constructive thinking.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shiro Muchiri. Shiro is the Creative Director of SoShiro. Trained in Milan, she worked worldwide and has 20 years’ experience in the design industry. Shiro has been creating working and living environments that leave a progressive depth of engagement between the space created and its users — a staunch philosophy Shiro has held. Having worked on projects which cover the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa; the words global and aesthetics of humanity define Shiro and what SoShiro will continue to pursue and bring to life.

Born in Nairobi, Shiro currently lives between London and Florence and forms project design teams around the world wherever her design work takes her.

Shiro is currently collaborating with over 25 artists some of whom are based in Hokkaido — Toru Kaizawa, Havana — Alexandre Arrechea and Saigon — Bùi Công Khánh, as well as numerous craftsmen dotted around the world, each of them working in their specialist art with a SoShiro twist.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was always interested in the detail of objects from when I was very little. I would take my toys apart to see how they were built, and later in life, I would find myself re-arranging my mums house, I loved my doll house and spent ages playing with it. I always took notice of how items and spaces could be improved to make them work better — things put together wrong bothered me a lot. So when I discovered design and the power this would give me to create objects and spaces my own way, I never looked back and the thought of designing what I wanted and how I wanted would be a dream come true!

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