Yinka Ilori can’t turn away a stray. “I see a chair by the road and hear it shouting, ‘Pick me up! There’s more in me!’ ” jokes the British-Nigerian designer, who began upcycling discarded seats while studying at London Metropolitan University. This past fall, he burst onto the scene at London Design Festival. Collaborating with Restoration Station, a not-for-profit that teaches recovering addicts to repair furniture, Ilori gave bright new futures to some broken-down chairs. Frames were restored, then painted in happy hues, and seats were covered in Dutch wax prints. Outside CitizenM hotel, meanwhile, Ilori created a playground of Technicolor slides and swings. That, too, is getting repurposed, having found a home among Bow Arts’ affordable studio spaces at Royal Albert Wharf. yinkailori.com
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