Making FRAKTA to the beat of IKEA and Swedish House Mafia
Together with Swedish House Mafia, IKEA is exploring ways to make it easier for music creatives to tap into their potential in the comfort of their own homes. We talked to IKEA designer Friso Wiersma about how the upcoming collection is being designed to carry more than a beat – not least in its take on a true IKEA icon.
Music has always been a big part of IKEA designer Friso Wiersma’s life. His childhood and adolescence in the Netherlands were marked by stints in school and church choirs, as well as fronting punk rock and pop bands with vocals – the latter of which he still does today.
“It’s a very direct way of being creative, different from design. You sing and it’s there, in the moment. I enjoy that a lot”, he says.
Music is a very direct way of being creative, different from design.
Friso is far from alone in enjoying and making music. Recent years have seen a rise in music production, especially among young people – many of which start out in make-shift studios in their own homes In the UK alone, 67% of young people aged 7-17 are making music, according to a 2020 report published by charity organisation Youth Music. And 85% said music makes them feel happy – a sentiment arguably echoed in parts across generations.
“Music is very much connected to a way of life, just like design. It’s so personal”, says Friso. “Both can really make a space and say a lot about who you are as a person, what you value, and how you look at the world. They really go hand in hand.”
It’s a connection that sparked both the curiosity and collaboration between IKEA and electronic music artists Swedish House Mafia, consisting of Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso. A question lies at the heart of the collaboration: how can we make life at home easier for those listening to and creating music in it?
“People already use our products to make music in their homes today, with simple setups in their living room or bedroom. We’ve looked at those setups, the needs they have, and how we can improve upon them”, Friso explains.
The focus on music production comes paired with a focus on the very physical aspects of music. One of those aspects pertain to making, creating, and sharing music on the go – for DJs going from their home studio to a gig or music lovers gearing up to share some of their favourite records. And what better way to tackle this aspect than with FRAKTA?
A load of music on the go
“It had been a dream for the guys to make a FRAKTA, but they wanted to add something more to it.”, says Friso. “Talking about functionality and how they would use it in their daily life, it became clear that we wanted to solve different problems – and that we couldn’t do it all in just one bag style.”
Among the results?
Three brand new, unique, and functional forms of FRAKTA – all in black, of course. One, an accessory bag equipped with compartments for all your decluttering needs; another, a padded shoulder bag fit for a laptop. And then there’s the one that can go from small to large in a quick zip, perfectly square in shape to hold vinyl records.
“When it’s zipped up, you have quite a small bag that can fit a laptop and just a few things, but when you open it up on the sides you suddenly have a lot of storage possibilities. In the first place it’s meant for vinyl, and for DJs that bring them to concerts or people that bring them to friends’ places to play”, says Friso. “The nice thing about FRAKTA is that it’s already proven how strong it is. But I wanted the handle to be a bit sturdier, so the ribbon has a thicker weave, like a car seatbelt”, he explains.
Which bag do you think you’ll be using most?
“I actually use the square bag already, for firewood. It fits perfectly there!” Friso grins.
This is the first collaboration you’ve worked on at IKEA. What’s it been like?
“The topic of making music at home was a new world to many of us at IKEA, so it’s been challenging and a lot of learning”, says Friso. “But it’s so nice to work with people like the guys in Swedish House Mafia. They have a strong creative vision in everything that they do, and they’re people who, in a good way, want to have control over every small little detail. As a designer, I’m the same. I’m meticulous, I love solving and thinking about even the smallest little stitch in a bag. It’s been a really good match in that sense.”
The collaboration between IKEA and Swedish House Mafia is set to launch in Fall 2022.