Taking a break from its long-established Scandinavian aesthetic, IKEA’s latest collection shines a colorful spotlight on African design. The brand-new IKEA Överallt collection, which launched this week at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, features the work of 10 established designers from five African countries who were paired with the brand’s designers to create a plethora of inspired products. The Överallt collection encompasses a wildly creative range of home goods—from braided trash bins to modular dining benches.
Identity, sustainability, and community fuel the one-of-a-kind collaboration. Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane, South African sustainable textile designer Sindiso Khumalo, along with Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad of Cairo-based design studio Reform are just a few of the creatives featured in the IKEA Överallt Collection.
“With Överallt, we want to encourage and trigger people to come together and eat, share stories, be creative, and spend time with one another,” James Futcher, IKEA’s creative leader, told Design Indaba. “Thanks to the merging of creatives and all the good discussions we’ve had along the way, each design has a way of supporting that.”
While pattern plays a prominent role in the collection, so does utility and flexibility. For instance, product designer Bibi Seck designed a graphic woven rocking chair with a footrest to match, while Issa Diabaté, an architect from the Ivory Coast, presented indoor-outdoor chairs crafted from a single sheet of plywood.
Many of the designers drew inspiration directly from their roots. Khumalo and Cape Town–based architect and artist Renee Rossouw both created textiles based on the African landscape—Khumlalo drawing on the city of Johannesburg and Rossouw on the elephant. Bethan Rayner and Naeem Biviji of Studio Propolis and IKEA designer Mikael Axelsson explore dining rituals and memories of food through a series of jugs, bowls, and pots for the dinner table.
The refreshingly imaginative and long-awaited IKEA Överallt collection will be available across IKEA markets beginning in May.
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