If Chairs Could Talk, 2015 © Veerle Evens
If Chairs Could Talk, 2015 © Veerle Evens  

For the 1:54 London 2017 Lounge commission, London-based designer Yinka Ilori injects an array of colours into the space. Entitled A United Family eats from the same plate, his site-specific installation aims to ignite a feeling of belonging, encouraging visitors to come together to laugh, celebrate, eat and talk. Ilori’s evocative use of colour, patterns and motifs is visible in each set of tables and chairs.

Ilori specialises in upcycling vintage furniture. Inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child, each piece of furniture has a story to tell. Bringing Nigerian verbal traditions into conversation with contemporary design, his work plays with the relationship between function and form. In a bid to minimise the unnecessary waste of European and West African consumer cultures, Ilori primarily works with discarded furniture and found objects. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions such as The Magnum Home, Plinth, London (2017); Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow – Design Histories between Africa and Europe, Galerie Karin Wimmer, Munich (2017); Do Good Because of Tomorrow, Milton Keynes Arts Centre (2016) and Africa Reframed, Øksnehallen, Copenhagen (2016). Group exhibitions include Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design (2015–19: Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; CCCB Barcelona; Kunsthal Rotterdam; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Albuquerque Museum, New Mexico and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin).

Yinka Ilori at a Vitra Design Museums workshop © Bettina Matthiessen
Yinka Ilori at a Vitra Design Museums workshop © Bettina Matthiessen

For the third year at 1:54, London restaurant IKOYI will be taking over the 1:54 Lounge’s bar, with a selection of West African drinks and snacks.

The 1:54 Lounge will be open throughout the fair, from 11:00 to 19:00 on 5, 6 and 7 October, and from 11:00 to 18:00 on 8 October.