Ikea hosted its Democratic Design Day yesterday—essentially a massive announcement of all the upcoming collections, products, and partnerships the company has in store—and man, oh man, does the Swedish retailer have some awesome things in the works. The event took place at Ikea's headquarters in Älmhult, but it was livestreamed internationally for all to watch.
“It’s all about people. These days are not only about looking at the final results, it’s also an opportunity for you to look behind the scenes, and meet the people,” Ikea's Managing Director of Sweden Jesper Brodin told the crowd. “We’re opening up Ikea even more, inviting you to co-create with us. We’d like your help to share the ideas, tell the stories, and inspire others to engage and join in.”
While the specifics of upcoming projects were generally not revealed, we did find out a lot about Ikea's upcoming plans. And suffice it to say, we’re already excited about all the cool new products we can expect from the Swedish retailer in the coming years. A few announcements in particular stood out to us—here’s what we’re most looking forward to seeing at Ikea soon.
A Small Space Furniture Collection Inspired By Outer Space
A Collaboration With Off-White, Specifically For Millennials
An Easy Way To Prep For Your Next Party
Ikea is teaming up with consumer electronics company Teenage Engineering for an all-inclusive “party kit” to help you with throwing together last-minute parties. Gone are the days of red solo cups and plastic utensils.
As with the rest of the partnerships announced at Democratic Design Day, the specifics of what exactly the Frekvens collection will include are still unknown. We do know that Teenage Engineering, comprised of CEO Jesper Kouthoofd and three of his friends, is built on a love for making music and follows a simple mission to create things they believe are missing in the world. According to Kouthoofd, these things include vinyl record players, synthesizers, and cameras among other products. With this information in mind, it’s safe to assume that technology and music will be a key part of the collection.
“When you are younger you usually come up with the idea of a party the same day, and I think a lot of people use Ikea that way. ‘I’m going to have a party, I need some glasses, napkins, candles and stuff and will go to Ikea to get it.’ For us, it is about finding a reason to make and play some music. Thinking about the totality of what you need for a party is a good start,” Kouthoofd told the audience at Democratic Design Day.
A set release date for the collection hasn’t been specified, but the announcement for the line promises new products “in the near future.”
A Scent-Related Project That Blends Interior Design With Smell
Despite most of us having distinct associations of certain smells with certain places, the connection between scent and interior design has up to now been left relatively unexplored. Ikea plans to change this through an upcoming collaboration with Ben Gorham, the founder of Swedish perfume brand Byredo.
“I know most people have associations of visiting their grandmother’s house—whether it’s her perfume or the flowers or her cooking—smell is a very relevant part of the home. It creates a sense of comfort and security. We seldom speak of it and I think this project enforces that as well: getting people to think about smell,” said Gorham.
When it comes to experimental ways to bring scent into the home, there is no one better equipped than Gorham. Before establishing Byredo—which you may know as the brand behind the innovative brush-on perfume—about 10 years ago, Gorham graduated from the Stockholm Art School.
While we don't know exactly how Ikea plans to translate scent into the home (candles? diffusers? air freshening spray bottles?), those at Democratic Design Day got a glimpse of the collab via the smell of Ikea's beloved cinnamon buns wafting through the hallways.
“I was fascinated by the possibilities tied to smell,” said Gorham. “We’re trying to develop a ton of smells enforcing the idea that everyone has a different relationship to it, and nothing is right or wrong. We’re working on using scent to communicate emotions and tell stories of people, culture and design.”
A New Invention That Might Just Dethrone Flat Pack Furniture