Yinka Ilori designs mirrored pavilion for self-reflection at Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2024

Reflection in Numbers by Yinka Ilori for HKW

British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori has created the Reflection in Numbers pavilion, which is designed to encourage reflection on racism in sport ahead of the Euro 2024 football tournament.

Showcased as part of Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s (HKW) programme titled Ballet of the Masses – on Football and Catharsis, the pavilion aims to highlight issues of racism in sports and particularly football.

The structure uses mirrors to remind visitors of their own personal accountability and to serve as an “impetus for self-reflection”.

Exterior view of pavilion by Yinka Ilori for HKW
The pavilion is on show at Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2024

“The idea of the mirrors is to make visitors reflect on their behaviours and interactions with others,” Ilori said.

“They are there to make it hard for people to hide, if they’re shouting or swearing, like we often see on sporting grounds and in stadiums,” he continued.

“Another aspect I thought about when designing this pavilion, was how spiritual football can be as a sport. It brings people and communities together to sing, chant, share praise, and wave flags.”

Interior view of Reflection in Numbers at HKW
Mirrors are used to encourage self-reflection within visitors

The timber pavilion is enclosed on one side by a perforated exterior composed of calabashes – a plant often used as a key component in instruments within West African communities.

A yellow-painted timber structure wraps around the other half of the structure.

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“To me, the calabash is a symbol of peace,” Ilori said.

“It’s often represented as a peace offering that brings communities together,” he explained. “I hope it encourages people to remember the importance of peace in sport, and the power of reflection.”

Seating area within Reflection in Numbers at HKW
The structure hosts a sheltered seating area

Inside the pavilion, a curved, stepped seating area wraps around a central space and is backed by a sea of mirrors embedded into the calabashes.

A green-painted, vortex-like canopy shelters the space and is similarly decorated with calabashes.

Calabashes used within pavilion by Yinka Ilori in Berlin
A sea of mirrors embedded into the calabashes

The pavilion is open to the public from 7 June as part of HKW’s Ballet of the Masses – On Football and Catharsis festival, which is funded by the EURO 2024 Football & Culture Foundation and German government. It forms part of a programme of installations, performances and workshops that will take place at HKW focused on football.

Other projects recently completed by Ilori include a pop-up cognac bar inside Selfridges in London and two gigantic chairs installed on The Line art walk in London.

The photography is by Hannes Wiedemann, courtesy of HKW.

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