Yinka Ilori and Lego’s launderette celebrates play and community

Created in collaboration with Lego, Yinka Ilori’s pop-up Launderette of Dreams installation (until 6 November 2021) is a colourful celebration of play

Interior view of Yinka Ilori's Launderette installation featuring mock washing machines in bright colours
(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Yinka Ilori and Lego unveil a new project, celebrating the freedom of play through a fun, interactive installation and in Ilori’s signature vibrant colour palette. This is the latest in a series of interactive spaces created by the British-Nigerian artist and designer, including a basketball court in Canary Wharf and a skate park in Lille

Yinka Ilori’s Launderette of Dreams

A portrait of Yinka Ilori sitting on one of the washing machines inside his colourful ‘Launderette of Dreams’ pop up space in East London

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Opened in east London on 28 October 2021, Launderette of Dreams transforms classic launderette design into a space for play, with Lego surfaces encouraging children to create, hopscotch graphics on the floor, a washing machine transformed into a Lego vending machine and bollard-like upholstered elements. The project is the result of a series of workshops Ilori organised with children from his former primary school in north London, and is inspired by the designer’s visits to his local launderette when growing up. 

‘The Launderette of Dreams is a very personal project for me because I spent a lot of time during my childhood at the launderette,’ says Ilori, who recalls playing in the space with his siblings and family. ‘It was where I could dream about the things I wanted to achieve. We often forget about the mundane spaces which play an important role in bringing the community and people from different cultures and backgrounds together, as well as providing an opportunity for kids to meet, play and share ideas.’

Interior view of Yinka Ilori's Launderette installation featuring mock washing machines in bright colours

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

The façade of Yinka Ilori's Launderette of Dreams, featuring a colourful spiral at the front

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

The space was designed to give children total freedom, with graphics including ‘yes to play’ and ‘yes to building’ messages (in contrast to signs forbidding play that are often found throughout London housing estates). More than 200,000 colourful Lego bricks are used throughout the space, with lighting installations and interactive machines to foster imagination and a sense of discovery and creativity.

‘Community launderettes are essential to the fabric and DNA of many communities,’ continues Ilori. ‘I hope the Launderette of Dreams inspires both adults and children to believe they can dream and create anywhere. Lego bricks are a powerful tool to help bring this imagination to life by offering the creative freedom to build any structure or object that you can dream of.

‘Children are brimming with amazing ideas for how to rebuild the world around them for the better and use play to transform the mundane into a magical experience,’ comments Alero Akuya, Lego’s vice president of global brand development. ‘Their creative optimism inspires us every day, and we hope the Launderette of Dreams shows how fun and playful the world around us can be when approached with a bit of childlike imagination and joy.’


‘The Launderette of Dreams’ is open from 28 October to 6 November 2021
Workshops can be booked via eventbrite.com



133-135 Bethnal Green Rd
London, E2 7DG


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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