Two smiling men sit side by side on a large, stair-like plywood structure.

Time to challenge the traditional solutions for comfort in the home

IKEA has teamed up with designer Tom Dixon to redefine what comfortable seating means for the modern home.

Product development at IKEA is always based on the understanding of the changing needs of people’s lives. We know that our homes, and how we live in them, are constantly changing.

One of the biggest shifts that is happening now, is that more and more people are living in less and less space, which makes the boundaries within the home move and dissolve. For many, the living room is now a place to eat, drink, relax and socialise – together, or apart through technology.

New ways of living means that we at IKEA need to rethink and redefine the products we use at home.

“We can see big changes in how the space in our homes is becoming more fluid and we are exploring what this means for both the design and production of furniture, says Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA.

For this time around we invited designer Tom Dixon, who is the perfect partner for this, well known for his award-winning design, but also an expert in production and manufacturing.

Three people talking to each other in a spacious white hall dotted with clusters of furniture.

“We are in the midst of a huge revolution in how people create, manufacture and consume – the furniture business has been slow to respond to the opportunities, but now is an amazing time to experiment in new ways of working. In this case in a fresh collaboration directly with the consumer, industry and global experts,” says Tom.

This project is not only about design, but equally about exploring materials and challenging traditional ways of production to redefine the concept of comfort.

The immediate focus is on seating or sleeping solutions.

“The only real piece of furniture you need is a bed. It’s the basic unit of furnishing that everybody needs. So rather than sofa bed, you can see this as a bed that can be a sofa, if you want it to be. And then it can be all kinds of other things later on,” says Tom.

We are in the midst of a huge revolution in how people create, manufacture and consume

“This may seem simple but not only do we intend to build a system that makes it possible to create versatile furniture for modern living we are going to do it in a way that will have implications for the way that many products are made in the future,” says Marcus.

One of the inspirations for the project was the big movement of personalisations, hacks and modifications we see people do to different products within different industries today. There might be things we can’t think of or functions that people want to add, so the grooves in the extrusion allows for new pieces to be added on. This will be a platform for other people to create personalized solutions.

The collaboration between IKEA and Tom Dixon will launch in August 2017.

The key words are: modular, flexible, lightweight and multi-purpose seating solutions.