Yinka Ilori Turns Waste Into Bright, Bold Furniture

Yinka Ilori Turns Waste Into Bright, Bold Furniture

The London artist and designer creates upcycled chairs inspired by Nigerian traditions and African fabrics.

Yinka Ilori loves to tell a story, though his medium may be a little unorthodox. To weave his tales, he first heads to the streets, finding discarded furniture in dump sites, junk shops and even on the side of the road.

Back at his studio, he reimagines his finds into one-of-a-kind chairs, each with their own narrative that draws inspiration from both the traditional parables from his Nigerian roots and the bold colours and patterns of African textiles. This artistic upcycling is also a statement against what he considers unnecessary waste in consumer cultures.



A wild mix of colour, pattern and form, Ilori’s hybrid chairs walk the line between functional furniture and striking artwork, and offer a free range for personal interpretation. For the London Design Festival next month, Ilori is presenting a recent collection of six chairs, encapsulated in his A Swimming Pool of Dreams installation.

Part of Clerkenwell London’s Design Undefined exhibition, the installation will take over the basement gallery and is a reflection on the artist’s childhood visits to the English seaside town of Margate with his family church, with each individual piece representing a prayer for the future. Described as being inspired by memories of faith, love and unity, the installation will invite visitors to explore the stories, and become immersed in Ilori’s vibrant and colourful world.


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