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Yinka Ilori or the explosion of colors

The London-based, Anglo-Nigerian artist pulsates design in installations, interiors, and object designs that draw on his African origins for colorful new narratives.

“Art and design must be accessible to all” is Yinka Ilori’s guiding principle, which he has been putting into practice fabulously for the past five years through his eponymous studio. The multidisciplinary artist-designer, born in Islington in North London, develops a graphic, ethnic, and chromatic language, mixing his dual Anglo-Nigerian heritage for handcrafted, supportive, and emotional creations. His projects aim to demonstrate that design has a positive impact on contemporary society and has the power to bring communities together. While he draws on his optimistic worldview and the cultural traditions of his family, his designs also pay homage to the geometric sensibilities of the Memphis group of the 1980s. 

An explosive cocktail

His studio has a steady stream of projects, injecting a dose of good humor between interior design, objects, recycled furniture, pop-up stores, and exhibitions. We cite in particular his recent installation in Germany, “Filtered Rays,” which explores the relationship between light and color. But also “A Large Chair Does Not Make A King” for the London Design Festival in 2017, which invited the public to “leave your ego aside and remember that, regardless of success in life, we all share this bond of humanity.” In addition, check out his new FitFlop beach flip-flop and flip-flop collection and his collab’ with LG for The Conran Shop’s window display, filled with eye-shaped TV screens. And the “laundry of dreams” composed of 200,000 Lego bricks, his maximalist wallpapers for Lick, and the basketball for the Canary Wharf court. Yinka Ilori thus affixes his signature: colorful, conducive to the imagination, escape, and all possibilities.

Nathalie Dassa

Photo credits Yinka Ilori Studio