London-based designer Yinka Ilori embarked on his career in 2011 and it was his upcycled furniture that captured the imagination of design-lovers. Drawing on the Nigerian parables and West African fabrics he grew up surrounded by, his pieces were storytelling devices.
His chairs – symbolic items that to Ilori hold so much power to communicate – were custom-created out of discarded seats. The designer would source abandoned chairs from different parts of the globe and upcycle them, using bold colours and vibrant textiles that relay a deeper story.
“Chairs are powerful objects. Chairs hold a lot of feeling and emotions. I think it’s quite a soulful thing,” he said in a previous interview with Design Indaba.
An advocate for narrative-rich design, Ilori uses his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories through a contemporary aesthetic. He has recently expanded his range to include a 20-piece collection of homeware. Bright, colourful and created with a range of different craftsmen and suppliers, it comprises rugs, cushions, stoneware, even tea towels and trays, coasters and placemats.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.