Lani Adeoye, a Nigerian-Canadian designer, has made a name for herself in the design industry with her ability to seamlessly blend contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship, all while paying homage to her Nigerian heritage. Her works range from furniture to lighting, wearables, and assistance devices, with each piece carefully crafted to create a sense of empathy and connection.
As the founder of Studio Lani, Adeoye has been recognized for her contributions to the design world. Her works have been acquired by prestigious institutions, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Die Neue Sammlung. Additionally, she has received numerous international awards, including first prize in Milan’s 2022 ‘SaloneSatellite: Designing for our future selves’ award for her asymmetric walker, RemX, which was described by the jury as a perfect blend of “Elegance and Dignity in a useful object for all.”
Adeoye’s talent has also been acknowledged by various publications, including Elle Décor, which featured her in its Women of the World: 75 Global Female Designers Worth Celebrating issue in 2020. Her collection of Talking Tables, inspired by West African talking drums and made using hand-welded steel, turned wood, and woven leather, won the WantedDesign Launch Pad Furniture award in 2017 for its innovative approach to traditional crafts.
Although Adeoye’s practice is primarily based in Lagos, Nigeria, she divides her time between Africa, North America, and Europe, with roots in Lagos, Toronto, Montreal, and New York. Her diverse background, which includes a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and a degree in Interior Design (AAS) from Parsons School of Design, has given her a unique toolkit that combines an analytical approach to function with an innate sensitivity to form.
Through Studio Lani, Adeoye takes on new challenges with industry partners looking to create innovative and elevated product experiences for a global audience. Her passion for design and her commitment to creating objects that are universally appealing, while rooted in history and identity, make her a leading figure in the design world.
Lani exhibited at the Salone Del Mobile 2022 in Milan, and her new collection EKAABO earned her the 11th Edition of the SaloneSatellite Award. In an interview, the award-winning Nigerian-Canadian designer, Lani Adeoye, shared her creative process behind the Ekaabo collection. She explained that the collection was intended to showcase a range of techniques and materials, and extensive research and experimentation were an integral part of the process.
Adeoye expressed her interest in reimagining traditional materials in new ways, such as the use of Adire textile which has been part of Yoruba culture for decades primarily for fashion. In the Ekaabo collection, the textile is hardened and cast to create a table top. Similarly, the Aso-oke, another heritage fabric traditionally used in clothing, is used as a finish to wrap metal pipes, adding a sense of tactility and warmth.
Adeoye also described the unconventional use of natural materials in the collection, such as water hyacinth which is used to wrap a walker, challenging its often clinical look. Her goal was to create unique pieces that offer a fresh perspective on the use of materials, pushing the boundaries of traditional craftsmanship in contemporary design.