A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate
British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori has given an out-of-use play area in Parsloes Park, an excitingly biodiverse park once inhabited by flamingos, a new lease of life. Drawing from residents’ stories through a series of creative workshops, Yinka captured Becontree’s vibrant past through a rich colour-scape of new and revitalised play equipment.
The design encourages collaborative play for children of all ages, as well as reintroducing pink flamingos to the park – in the form of bouncy spring rockers. Yinka sees value in bringing his design skills to a play area: normally off the peg and standardised, these unique structures will open up possibilities for expanding park goers’ imaginations.
The activation of the playground encouraged local schools and inhabitants both young and old to come together with Yinka and explore memories of the park, its wildlife and their aspirations of its future. Wildlife workshops, artist talks at local primary schools and a basketball design competition were all held during the launch of the playground.
Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary designer, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories. Humorous, provocative and fun, each piece he creates brings Nigerian verbal traditions into playful conversation with contemporary design. Established in 2017, Yinka Ilori Studio consists of a team of colour-obsessed architects and designers, who love to experiment with the relationship between function and form, with an output that sits between traditional divisions of art and design.
Co-commissioned by Create London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD). Funded by LBBD’s Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy. Fabrication by Setworks and Eduplay.