Every year our fave Scandinavian store puts on a huge event to give us a sneak peek of their upcoming collections, new products, and future collabs. This year, IKEA’s annual Democratic Design Days event took place June 7-8 in Sweden, and the top seven new projects were groundbreaking, to say the least. IKEA is reinventing small-space living with the help of NASA, teaming up with high-end designers like Byredo to create amazingly scented homes, and they’re even gunning to be your new one-stop shop for party needs. Scroll down for all the uber exciting deets!
NASA + IKEA
Yep, that’s right. IKEA is sending some of their design people to Mars — or at least the simulated Mars habitat at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.
“Small-space living is a fact in space and we want to learn from that, as this is a reality to more and more people. We are curious to see what makes space travel homey, what boundaries and restraints you need to work with, and bring that knowledge into our product development,” says Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA Range and Supply. While IKEA doesn’t actually want to go to space, they do want to study the challenges of tiny quarters, as well as the methods of repurposing and sustainability used in-orbit. The curious, astro-inspired collection will launch in 2019.
OFF-WHITE + IKEA
Living that rental life can be a real challenge, especially when you want to make that space feel *so* you. With that struggle in mind, IKEA joined forces with Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White — a fashion label rooted in current culture — to offer a new perspective on how millennials think about design and beautiful home elements.
“Our aim is, therefore, to work together with students in this project and create unique, innovative, and inspiring furnishings and decorations, which are all conceptual collector‘s pieces, as well as functional and commercial home items for everyone,” according to a recent IKEA press release. A 2019 launch is planned for the collection.
APPLE + IKEA
IKEA is working with Apple to explore augmented reality (AR, if you’re fancy) as a tool for furnishing your home. The app they’re working on will allow you to visualize what certain IKEA pieces will look like in your home before spending a penny or lifting a finger.
Thanks to Apple, you can say sayonara to forking out the cash for a new sofa and hauling it up to your apartment, only to decide you don’t like it. The new see-it-before-you-buy-it app will be available as soon as Fall 2017!
Screwless + Easier-to-Assemble Furniture
It’s a well-known fact that sometimes those flat-lay furniture pieces aren’t the easiest thing to put together. Well, IKEA wants to minimize that stress, so they’re coming out with a whole new line of furniture that can be assembled without ANY screws.
The “click” technology promises to make the whole assembly process up to 80 percent faster, which means you can put together a PAX closet in under five minutes! Pieces of the technology — which is called EKET — are already available online and in-stores.
One of the coolest things about IKEA is their belief that good design ideas can come from anywhere — including you. So they’ve sent out an open invitation to the whole world “to create a better everyday life for the many people, together.” To spark the project, IKEA has initiated several different avenues of co-creation, including university collaborations, worldwide innovation labs, and a “maker space” in Sweden where product developers and designers can work on future products together.
“Innovation needs to happen everywhere in IKEA, and it must be in collaboration with the outside. With co-createIKEA we will together explore the future,” says Tony Sandelius, New Business and Innovation Manager at IKEA of Sweden. The first activity in the collaborative mission will be IKEA Bootcamp, which will start on September 18, 2017.
Ben Gorham + IKEA
IKEA knows how to make us swoon, so of course, they’ve formed a dreamy partnership to make incredible home scent solutions that are both stylish and functional. Pairing with Ben Gorham, Founder of Byredo — an upscale fragrance company — IKEA will look into what different scents mean to different people, and which scents unite us all.
“We know that scents can help us create a feeling of safety and intimacy, but what does ‘home’ smell like? And how can smell be communicated beyond scented candles?” said Engman. We’re excited to find out! This collection will debut in 2019.
Teenage Engineering + IKEA
Besides a good scent, you need some solid tunes to create a cozy atmosphere. Understanding how important music is in young people’s lives, IKEA was inspired to partner with Jesper Kouthoofd of Teenage Engineering to explore how to throw a really good party.
The result of the collab will be called FREKVENS and will offer the sounds of an electronic choir, a vinyl record player, party lighting, and supposedly everything else needed for a good time. Look out for the fun collection starting in February of 2019.
What do you think about IKEA’s new endeavors? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via IKEA)