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Emerging Design Medal Winner 2020 Yinka Ilori

The Emerging Design Medal recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation.


Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist of a British- Nigerian heritage, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design. Humorous, provocative and fun, every project that he creates tellsa story. Bringing Nigerian verbal traditional into playful conversation with contemporary design, Yinka Ilori’s work touches on various global themes that resonate with different audiences all over the world. 


He began his practice in 2011 up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him as a child. Yinka Ilori Studio was established in 2017 following a successful pitch to transform the Thessaly Road Bridge. The studio now consists of a team of colour-obsessed architects  and designers, with the expertise and capacity to take on large-scale architectural and interior design projects.  


Ilori studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University. He has since exhibited in both London and internationally with solo shows at London Design Festival, Design Miami, British Library, NOW Gallery, The Africa Centre, and Brighton Museum; and as part of group shows at Vitra Design Museum, Museumof London, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Southbank Centre. 


Most recently, Ilori was commissioned to design a public space installation for the 2019 Dulwich Picture Gallery with the creation of the site-specific, Colour Palace. In June 2019, he designed Get Up Stand Up Now at Somerset House. 


Yinka Ilori says, I am truly humbled and honoured to have wonthis award. Design has always been a huge part of my life and surroundings, so being able to share it with the world is something very special. It feels good to know that my work has been recognised by London Design Festival in a time where, in my opinion, design is more important than ever. I just hope my work inspires the next generation of young designers with a similar background to me.I really am grateful and excited for the future.”