Yinka Ilori

Published: 23 Sep 2020
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British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori was awarded the Emerging Design Medal at the London Design Festival 2020, the accolade honouring creatives who have made an impact within five years of graduating

Yinka Ilori was one of four designers to win a medal at the virtual awards ceremony held during the London Design Festival 2020.

Known for his bold use of colour and pattern, and buried narratives within his culturally clashing designs, Ilori is currently one of the design world’s most exciting and demand designers, despite only establishing his own studio in 2017. He started his design career upcycling old furniture with designs inspired by traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics.

Two notable projects that contributed to his award include ‘Happy Street’, his first public installation, situated at a railway bridge in South London. The installation comprises 56 patterned enamel panels decorated in sixteen different colours. The Happy Street installation forms part of the local council’s campaign to make the area more welcoming.

Another colourful installation can be found at an indoor skate park at La Condition Publique in Lille, France, a cultural institution set within an early 20th-century warehouse that was renovated in 2004 by architect Patrick Bouchain. Ilori’s used saturated colour to transform a former exhibition hall to give it a strong identity and also make it a vibrant and enjoyable space.

It feels good to know that my work has been recognised by the London Design Festival 2020 – in a time where design is more important than ever…I hope my work is an inspiration to young designers of a similar background to me. I am grateful and excited for the future”