artist focus: celebrating black history month with Yinka Ilori
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the many contributions of black people in America. It's also known as African American history month, and it has its origins with Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech which he gave on August 28th, 1963 at Lincoln Memorial.
Moved by his words about equal rights for all regardless of race or gender, this powerful message spurred an international movement calling on governments around the world to ensure that everyone everywhere can live without discrimination.
Today we celebrate the last day of black history month by sharing the collaboration of Lego with British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori with a colourful new launderette in East London.
Designer Yinka Ilori, left, with Alero Akuya, Lego's vice president of global brand development, inside the Launderette of Dreams
Called the Launderette of Dreams, the new space is an art installation made with more than 200,000 bright Lego bricks, that seeks to transform community spaces to appeal to children.
The interior of the shop has a Lego mural on one side and a toy vending machine dispensing toys instead of soap. The floor also doubles as a hopscotch game. But what really takes this place from being ordinary to extraordinary? The shopfront is a giant spinning wheel, in blocks of yellows, reds, and blues, framed on either side by primrose yellow doors.
Yinka Ilori's work is strongly influenced by his own British-Nigerian heritage, which he folds throughout the multi-disciplinary studio that he leads as an architect and designer.
To see other inspirational black collaborations, read our other article on Yemisi Williams, Travis Scott, and Pharrell Williams