Ilori was awarded the Emerging Design Medal at the London Design Festival in 2020, served as a creative director of the BRIT Awards, received an MBE and was named as one of the 12 Artists shaping the global design industry by New York Times, all last year.
What is your practice?
My practice is multi-disciplinary and primarily consists of set-design, architectural projects and graphic design. I centre my work within the public space around belonging, memory making and celebrating joy, especially in spaces that need it. I am a storyteller, and I am an artist. I grew up in a place called Market Estate in north London where art and design wasn't really accessible. So as an artist and storyteller, I try to bring art and design to spaces and people that don’t usually get to experience art. I use words, poetry and text, and pattern to celebrate the personal stories of local communities and people in spaces that need joy. I have been telling stories in public spaces for the last 14 or 15 years now.
What does it mean to be the ambassador of joy?
It is super fitting to be an ambassador for Courvoisier as my work embodies joy. Whether you drink Courvoisier alone or around people, it is a joyful experience, we want to celebrate the joy of Courvoisier or the joy of drinking with your loved ones. I am quite lucky to have been given the role and the name of ambassador of joy and to follow the theme of joie de vivre.
I was invited to present a designer table design for our first intervention in New York, which consisted of a meandering river-like table-scape and which was inspired by my visit to Jarnac, the home of the House and the distillery. It was a really inspirational visit for me and really informed the design. Guests will see the table-scape, which is incredible, it looks like the river, and it has a series of plates, which were inspired by the botanicals, the florals, the bees, and the wildflowers of Jarnac. The glassware and plates are a mixture of the Jarnac red and beige, which are crucial and important to the heritage of Courvoisier. It was very much a celebratory and collaborative project.