Inside Lego’s and Yinka Ilori’s reimagined launderette

Lego was drawn to the ‘colourful playfulness’ of Ilori’s art.

Yinka Ilori used more than 200,000 Lego bricks to create the experience
Yinka Ilori used more than 200,000 Lego bricks to create the experience

Lego is fusing play with art in its reimagined launderette with artist and designer Yinka Ilori.

For the "Launderette of Dreams", Ilori used more than 200,000 Lego bricks to gamify the washing machines and decor, creating an interactive play experience that features his signature bold graphics and colourful style influenced by his British-Nigerian heritage.

When it came to selecting Ilori to work with, Lego was drawn to the "colourful playfulness of his perspective".

Alero Akuya, vice-president of global brand development, Lego Group, told Campaign: "We just want to make sure that everything we do is joyful, inspirational, caring and creative. We want to make sure that the quality of the experience is there, so it needs to really have effervescent energy and be inviting, accessible and inclusive for all."

The play space, which is the latest phase of Lego's "Rebuild the world" campaign launched in 2019, is inspired by the creative optimism and resilience of children.

Akuya added: "We are entering this third year of our campaign and really wanted to have a physical expression and manifestation to allow people to come and play and not just play alone, but play together. I think what's really fun about it is that you can come in and place your own flavour, build into the space and build on what's already been left on the walls prior."

The installation draws on Ilori's childhood memories of visiting his local launderette and was partly inspired by children from Ilori's former primary school, St Jude & St Paul's C of E.

Visitors can find kaleidoscope laundry drums, mural walls, colourful hopscotch flooring and vending machines that dispense Lego toys instead of soap.

The launderette is open to the public from today (28 October) until 6 November at 133-135 Bethnal Green Road. More than 1000 advanced tickets have been booked, so there is limited walk-in availability.

Ilori and other hosts will be running a limited series of workshops. These will invite families to "rebuild the world" around them using Lego bricks and show the joyful possibilities that come from approaching the everyday with the playful optimism of a child.

Exposure is delivering the project. 

The concept of art and play was also explored in 2020 when Lego created its vibrant installation, "House of Dots" with Camille Walala. Everything from the walls to the floors featured Lego Dots in Walala's distinctive style.

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