Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at Ikea? This year, we were lucky enough to snag a spot at Ikea’s Democratic Design Days—a two-day extravaganza hosted by the Swedish purveyor of all that is good and holy in decor, wherein the brand unveils their upcoming collaborations with brands and creatives from around the world. Spanning a wide range of categories, styles, and aesthetics, innovation is clearly at the forefront of every one of the new launches.
With a focus on sustainable living and an initiative to tackle the rapid growth in urban expansion, the primary theme of the two-day event calls for the need to make design approachable and attainable for all—in short, democratic. That said, personalization and attention to detail are not at all lost; neither is the brand’s commitment to providing highly functional pieces that can cater to an eclectic slew of styles.
Having had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the forthcoming collaborations and products, we can confidently say that this year’s lineup does not disappoint.
Leading the pack are Adidas and Lego, each set to unveil their inaugural collections with the brand. The former of the two hinted at a collection “made by women, for women” at the DDD 2018, with the intention of allowing one to make fitness fit into their home environment, which in turn will allow them to fully integrate it into their daily lives.
The Lego collaboration explores the importance of play in a child’s life and the growth that stems from it in terms of nurturing confidence and imagination. “Play is essential to kids and we both believe that and so together with Lego and Ikea, we want to enable [that] in the home between parents and kids,” noted the team behind Lego during the DDD.
In conjunction with the aforementioned, are an exciting slew of partnerships set to debut later this year, going into 2019 and onwards, each touching on one specific standpoint in life or another. Read on for the collections we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Art Collection 2019
Vibrant colors, rich patterns, and an inspired yet whimsical take on the traditional are a few of the characteristics that comprise Ikea’s next art event, which will debut a rug collection in 2019. You’ll likely recognize a handful of the bigger names behind the collection, rising star and the nearly ubiquitous Virgil Abloh—who teased us with an inaugural collab last year—Japanese artist Misaki Kawai, and Chiaozza, to name a few.
Old-world techniques combine with an innovative approach, resulting in an aesthetic that borders on the avant-garde. Born from the rising stars of fashion and art, each bring about a unique quality to the designs, which result in a product that marries attainability with approachable style, one that can play to a wide variety of aesthetics and styles regardless of geographical or cultural standpoints.
“Looking back, rugs have a long tradition of being perceived as art rather than something we primarily choose for their function. This collection gave us the opportunity to explore the traditions and place them in a modern context,” says Henrik Most, creative leader for the upcoming collection. It’s a sentiment that falls directly in line with Ikea’s dedication to making art accessible to all.
Picture the inspired details of a warm summer’s day, and it will come to resemble Ikea’s Tankvard collection. Comprised of a reserved color palette and streamlined elements, it exudes the quintessential qualities of the season.
At the core of the collection, you will find a steadfast dedication to establishing a sustainable and fluid way of living, an initiative that results in pieces being multi-functional. Mixing and matching is encouraged, and the line between indoors and out is blissfully blurred. Crafted of sustainable materials, every one of the items can easily live within a wide variety of decorative tastes.
Rattan is a prominent theme in the line but its use here is anything but traditional. While typically presented curved or bent in composition, Ikea’s rendition of the material bears a more straightforward approach, and one that results in a contemporary take on a classic.
To complement the furnishings with a subtle contrast, Tankvard also features a delicate slew of textiles, which emulate ancient Japanese techniques of indigo-dyes and motifs. And while the items in the line are industrially crafted, an effort was still made to replicate the imperfections one may come to expect from an otherwise handmade piece.
And that’s not all: Here’s the quick play-by-play of the new collections, which touch on a wide variety of categories, and what you can expect in the coming year.
by Virgil Abloh, which features items rooted in tradition and modernized with a touch of irony—an old-world, traditional rug stamped with “Keep Off!” is one prime example. The collection is geared towards millennials with the intention of encouraging them to embrace design to make a statement within their homes.
by Stockholm-based Teenage Engineering is Ikea’s party collection. Portable music plays a major role in the line, combining sound and light with modern flair.
by Colette brings on the iconic French shop’s signature aesthetic that’s chock full of color and vivid imagery, presented in the form of large-format furnishings and smaller decorative accents.
artist Per B Sundberg is eschewing Scandinavian minimalism, and this one is all about maximalist masterpieces that challenge Ikea’s signature aesthetic. Picture items like tiki cups and sculptures that bear a skull motif, built to mix and match.
brings together 10 designers from seven African countries. Working with Ikea designers, they created a line inspired by “modern urban rituals that are common across all cultures.” One piece is a woven basket that draws on hair-braiding rituals (above) created by Senegalese fashion designer and artist Selly Raby Kane in collaboration with Ikea designer Iina Vuorivirta.
collection grew out of research from an Ikea team that spent time at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah to find solutions for small space living (the team also spent time in capsule hotels in Tokyo). These products won’t hit shelves until 2020, but some pieces will be constructed with an entirely new material developed by Ikea designers, described as “a lightweight material made of veneer rolled into hollow tubes.”
Stay tuned, there is so much more to come!
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