Yemi Awosile's Acoustic Fabrics exhibition at Southbank Centre © Yemi Awosile
Yemi Awosile's Acoustic Fabrics exhibition at Southbank Centre © Yemi Awosile


03 June 2015

We're delighted to have designer Yemi Awosile as a guest speaker at our fourth edition of Progress Bar on 4 June. She joins our line up of radical designers and music producers to discuss her work, which is informed by cultural insights translated through textiles and material processes.

Yemi Awosile creating a textile
Yemi Awosile creating a textile

The broader scope of Yemi Awosile’s practice brings together design and partnerships within the visual arts. Recent social interventions include collaborations with the Institute of Making, Crafts Council, British Council, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate.

Here, she tells us about her work – from designing intimate experiences to our relationship with the environment.

How did your interest in design develop?

It has been an interest from a very early age. I grew up in west London close to Portobello Road and I was heavily influenced by the market, especially the designer-makers and small market stalls. I was attracted by the awkward mix of old and new; the interesting characters and the atmosphere created by the music and clashing sound systems. As a designer I like the versatility of using fabric as a base material. I am interested in its ability to transform people and environments and its ability to direct behaviour. Beyond its physical function it can be a great tool for storytelling. I’m a terrible storyteller, but I’m able to share a story through making. Most of all I enjoy the tactility and sensorial experience of physically making work with fabric and yarn.

You design and facilitate activities at London-based design studio W+. What happens there?

It’s a collection of self-initiate projects and commissions mainly centred on workshops. Many of them are ongoing but it acts as a journal recording some of my experiences. It allows me to test ideas, gather research and work with people positioned both within and outside of art and design. At the beginning it was less personal; more recently it’s become a space for designing intimate experiences.

You collaborate much in your work, with everyone from large institutions including, British Council, V&A Museum and the Tate to local communities, organisations and schools. Why is collaboration important to you?

I get instant and unexpected feedback and this usually feeds into my personal work. It’s a very quick way for me to learn.

Your work uses permanently renewable bark and investigated alternative applications for post consumer waste. How is using recycled and renewable material important to your work?

It’s an opportunity to create a conversation about our relationship with our environment; and how this is connected to the movement of people and materials. It’s about sharing a narrative through a material.

What will you be discussing at Progress Bar on 4 June?

Navigating between art and design and my interest in materials.

Find out more about Yemi’s work at W+ and on her website.

Yemi Awosile is a guest at June’s Progress Bar on Thursday 4 June 2015.

What is Progress Bar? Progress Bar is a monthly event that offers insight into the creative practice of contemporary culture’s most exciting names. From vanguard filmmakers and musicians to trending artists and activists, Progress Bar is an ear-to-the-ground evening of new art, new music and, hopefully, new friends.

June Progress Bar guests Talks – influential designer, architect, writer and researcher Joseph Grima; graphic designer and researcher Simone C. Niquille; and textile designer Yemi Awosile. Live – three of the most innovative and radical music producers today, Vessel, Lotic and Arnod Vorrzpkngrrr.

Find out more and buy tickets here: June’s Progress Bar



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