V&A Dundee

Colourful, interactive installation celebrating the joy of play opens at V&A Dundee

Listening to Joy is a new interactive playscape designed by Yinka Ilori for families of all ages. Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, it opens today (Friday 17 December) at V&A Dundee in the Locke Hall on the ground floor and is free to visit.

This vibrant and colourful installation, created especially for V&A Dundee, will employ pattern, music and colour to shape and inspire joy and fun for visitors of all ages.

The playscape of brightly coloured zippable mesh walls forms a maze that can be opened and closed, creating new ways to change the space. Visitors can also experiment with sound making, using two circular xylophones.

The music created will be recorded, mixed and transformed into a series of musical pieces, recording the fun, joy and laughter the maze provokes.

Designer Yinka Ilori said: “I am honoured and humbled to work with V&A Dundee to create my first design project in Scotland. Listening to Joy is a celebration of play, an essential experience to enjoying life as well as practising our problem-solving skills.

“Play should be collaborative, so I have created this installation for visitors of all ages to explore sounds, colours and patterns in a shared space. I hope that Listening to Joy will spark imaginations and remind all of us of the power of play.”

The project is informed by the often-contradictory spatial patterns adults and children form while experiencing space. Children enjoy a fluid and non-rational encounter with space whilst adults often observe a more controlled and linear approach.

Sophie McKinlay, Director of Programme at V&A Dundee, said: "Yinka Ilori's brilliant, bold installation, Listening to Joy, is a celebration of the power of play.

“Created especially for V&A Dundee, Yinka's first design project in Scotland is an immersive and fun new installation to spark the imagination."

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Listening to Joy will bring much fun and laughter to visitors at V&A Dundee, and it wouldn’t have been possible without our players. I’m delighted that players support V&A Dundee in sharing the inspiring power of design with everyone.”

Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist of a British-Nigerian heritage, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design. He began his practice in 2011 up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him as a child.

Listening to Joy is open 17 December 2021 - 24 April 2022 on the ground floor of the Locke Hall in V&A Dundee and is free to visit.

Listening to Joy at V&A Dundee is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

V&A Dundee features world-class exhibitions alongside the permanent Scottish Design Galleries, and a changing programme of commissions, events and activities.