(THIS PROJECT FEATURE IS AN ORIGINAL SUBMISSION FROM TOSIN OSHINOWO OF ILE ILA / CMD+A. IF YOU’D ALSO LIKE TO FEATURE A PROJECT ON OUR SITE, SUBMIT AN ARTICLE OR, SHARE SOME KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN VISIT OUR SUBMIT PAGE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO DO SO)
We first came across the Ile-Ila collection earlier in the year at the Muson Festival’s Design Now exhibition. The indigenous and aspiring furniture brand is the brain child of CMD+A principal architect, Tosin Oshinowo.
As she describes it,
“Ile-Ila, House of Lines is a furniture line designed and hand-made in Nigeria, which brings contemporary design furniture into the local market.”
The design style of Ile-Ila is influenced by the post-war modern movement. This was a period between 1935 up until 1975 known as the “Golden age” of design, in which advancements in technology, materials, and society helped shape a period of ‘innovation’ and ‘advancement’ in architecture, art and design that was synonymous with the prosperity and inherent optimism of this. This was also a period of political and economic growth in Nigeria and particularly in our urban centers like Lagos.
The flagship collection of the brand, features iterations of a clean wooden arm chair with upholstered seat cushions that draws inspiration from the aforementioned era. The chairs bear a similar design language to the furniture one might have come across in a grandparent’s home back in the 70’s/80’s, albeit with an updated style and aesthetic. Clean lines and geometry are infused gracefully with rich cultural content of our local cotton fabrics ranging from Aso Oke to Adire and Ankara.
Here’s a look at the fabrication process (by hand), which turns a few lengths of wood to the final Ile Ila arm chair.