What’s the first word that comes to mind when we say, “IKEA?” Modular? Uniform? (Allen wrench?) The Swedish home furnishings giant has made an art of mass-produced: Part of what makes the brand’s pieces so infinitely hackable, adaptable, and customizable is the fact that they’re always the same — you can count on it. Which is why it’s so surprising that IKEA’s latest collaboration is anything but standardized. In fact, imperfection is built right into its DNA. IKEA teamed with Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek to develop new manufacturing processes for a totally new, limited-edition line of items called INDUSTRIELL. The collection feel worlds apart, melding the brand’s totally standardized processes with little quirks that give them a hand-touched look.
Hein Eek favors often difficult-to-use materials that might otherwise be discarded but bring a completely unique personality to the IKEA line. Knot-heavy white pine, for instance, is a centerpiece of the collection because it shows off its texture and eccentricities both when painted and when left natural.
Hein Eek struggled with how to create glassware that was deliberately imperfect. Ultimately the team settled on using two different machines to create the $1.29 INDUSTRIELL glasses in order to introduce some randomness into the process.
Textiles ($8) feature patterns hand-drawn by Hein Eek himself, creating a purposefully askew final product. INDUSTRIELL Plates ($6) are appealingly lopsided, lending a cool mix-and-match-friendly quality to the collection.
The armchair and bamboo light fixtures are hand-woven, showing off the unique character of these natural materials while also inserting a bit of beautiful imperfection into each one.
Even though the aesthetic is unexpected, IKEA’s pricing for the collection is exactly what we’ve come to anticipate. Tabletop pieces start at $1.29, and the INDUSTRIELL armchairs can be had for $129. At $349, the most expensive piece in the collab is a solid pine dining table, which is built from sustainably sourced wood. The limited-edition collection will be available at select IKEA doors at the beginning of April.
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(Photos via IKEA)