Episode 32

Chukwuka Ezeoke of Spirē on the Open Source Community Africa 2022 event and Untitled Design


July 5th, 2022

39 mins 5 secs

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About this Episode


Chukwuka Ezeoke


Richard Littauer | Django Skorupa

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers.

Our guest today is Chukwuka Ezeoke, who’s the Co-Founder and Head of Design at Spirē and was recently at the Open Source Community Africa (OSCA) 2022 event, where he was at the Sustain session, and facilitated the session on Design and wrote up the report on it. We’ll hear more about that event, along with another conference he put together called Untitled Design, which had over one thousand designers attending. He tells us more about Spirē, how he thinks the process could be improved with designers maintaining and contributing to open source, and he shares advice on how people from developing countries such as Nigeria, can get involved in projects that may be based in other parts of the world. Go ahead and download this episode now!

[00:01:41] Chukwuka tells us about Spirē, and we hear about the OSCA event that happened recently, how many people were there and what Chukwuka focused on in the design session.

[00:03:42] How did Chukwuka get into open source?

[00:07:32] Chukwuka explains the community of designers called, Untitled Designers, and why he thinks so many people attended their first design conference in Nigeria.

[00:10:18] We hear why Chukwuka thinks the turnout at the Sustain design session was so much lower than the other conference.

[00:11:05] Django asks Chukwuka to talk about road blocks that he might have suffered and ways it could be improved for him in his field to discovering new projects.

[00:12:41] When Chukwuka is looking at a project that he may be considering contributing to, he details what he looks for in documentation to improve his experience onboarding.

[00:16:38] We find out about the thousand designers that came to Chukwuka’s conference, how he found them, how they found him, and what the main themes were.

[00:19:46] If another conference was coming up what would Chukwuka say to designers who don’t know about open source and what would he say to get them involved?

[00:20:57] We hear some thoughts on whether design and open source demands that you be an extrovert to do it well.

[00:22:53] Chukwuka goes in depth about Spirē and how they plan to make it open source, and how they onboard designers.

[00:24:33] Richard mentions the OSCA Sustain Africa 2022 Community Report and Chukwuka shares thoughts on how he thinks the process could be improved with designers maintaining and contributing to open source projects. Richard brings up a point about talking about a possible new strategy to talk about the goals of the project instead of mentioning design.

[00:29:38] Chukwuka talks about how people from developing countries like Nigeria can get involved in projects which are based elsewhere.

[00:35:12] Find out where you can follow Chukwuka on the internet.


[00:08:13] “We are a community of designers in Africa building a sustainable design ecosystem by equipping designers with the tools, information, and access they need.”

[00:19:22] “Open source design is not talked about every year.”

[00:21:21] “You don’t need to be an extrovert to be in a part of any community or to contribute to open source.”

[00:25:57] “Maybe some form of remuneration for contribution would help to encourage them to keep contributing to a project or to open source.”

[00:26:10] “I think one of the reasons why people don’t want to get into open source is because they think that it’s pro bono work.”

[00:26:38] “Sometimes people have two jobs, so making contributions flexible for designers would also help.”


  • [00:36:06] Django’s spotlight is Ursula K. Le Guin and the book, A Wizard of Earthsea.
  • [00:36:41] Richard’s spotlight is Lin-Manuel Miranda and the movie, Encanto.
  • [00:37:09] Chukwuku’s spotlight is a community called, Usable.