IKEA to South Africa for a design collaboration on urban modern rituals

IKEA has teamed up with a group of designers, architects, artists and creatives from South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Angola, Ivory Coast and Rwanda to collaborate around modern rituals and the importance they play in the home. The designers are all part of the South African multifaceted platform Design Indaba´s network, and a group of IKEA in-house designers will meet up with them to work on the collection during the Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town 1-3 March 2017.

The creative explosion which is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about. We want to learn from this and spread it to the rest of the world. Working together with these designers and creatives gives us the opportunity to do so, says Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA.

At IKEA, we are curious, always eager to learn and trying to find new ways to do things better. Meeting different people and being inspired is an important part of understanding the changing needs of people’s lives around the world. IKEA has a vision to create a better everyday life for the many people. Through democratic design, we ensure that we bring great design to as many people as possible. That´s why IKEA is enthusiastic about sharing our ways of working with Democratic Design, our insights about life at home and how we work closely with our suppliers in product development.

Connecting with Design Indaba comes natural since there are several similarities and shared views – the commitment to contribute to a better world through creativity, the belief in sharing knowledge and seeing design as a way to improve quality of life. These shared views combined with a curiosity to see how urban creativity can merge and develop with the IKEA value chain will lead the way to new insights and ways of doing things.

It’s affirming for the world’s biggest furniture and homeware store to partner with Design Indaba to curate their first African collection, and we have learnt so much from the collaboration to date – the designers and ourselves. The scale at IKEA is staggering, yet they are still true to their founding principles, with which we find such symmetry. They look towards democratizing design, and are happy to be infiltrated by external ideas! And we love their credo: a better everyday life for everyone. Now, it will be also inspired by urban Africa, and our intrepid pan-continental group of reformers, thinkers, makers and activists. Can’t wait for the launch, says Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Indaba. 

The collection will be launched during 2019. Updates from the collaboration and its activities during the Design Indaba Conference can also be found on IKEA Today.

About Design Indaba
Comprising a world-renowned Conference, an online publication, a Social DoTank and an annual Festival of Creativity, Design Indaba has become a respected institution in the global creative landscape, based on the foundation of their annual Festival that has attracted and showcased the world’s brightest talent since 1995. In 22 years, the Design Indaba Conference has grown to become one of the world’s leading design events, hosting more than 55 speakers and over 5000 delegates annually.

About the designers

  • Bethan Rayner and Naeem Biviji (Kenya) – work in a fluid sway between designing and building. Specialising in made-to-order, handcrafted furniture, their diverse range of projects demonstrate a consciousness of their environment and a keen use of resources in an under-resourced part of the world.
  • Bibi Seck (Senegal) - product designer and teacher versed in a multitude of disciplines, ranging from automobiles to recycled furniture. Passionate about social-economic impact of design in Africa.
  • Christian Benimana (Rwanda) – architect and designer particularly interested in the innovative use of materials and technologies for sustainable designs.
  • Hanna Dalrot (Sweden) – designer with a passion about unique mass production, where you can see the handicraft in the finished piece. Working for IKEA since 2014.
  • Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem (Egypt) – designer duo with the desire to create responsible and thoughtful products, and to completely reform the way designers use and reuse materials.
  • Issa Diabaté (Ivory Coast) – architect and a firm believer in the power of architecture’s ability to address local economic and social issues.
  • Johanna Jelenik (Sweden) – designer working for IKEA since 2002 driven by function and aesthetics in combination. Looks for deeper meaning and a clear context in design and loves to inspire people around the world to live more sustainable lives.
  • Kevin Gouriou (France) – designer driven by the passion of “making things”. Started his career in 2010 as a welder and landed last September as a project designer at IKEA.   
  • Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa) - knitwear designer promoting Xhosa culture on the international runways as well as creating socially conscious design.
  • Mikael Axelsson (Sweden) – IKEA designer since 2013 with a passion to get function, construction and aesthetics to coexist and strengthen each other.
  • Paula Nascimento (Angola) – practises architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis with focus on finding creative solves for everyday urban development problems.
  • Renee Rossouw (South Africa) - artist and architect who explores a variety of different projects, from patterns and products, to murals and art.
  • Selly Raby Kane (Senegal) – fashion designer with skills that extends further than fashion, among other things she has turned old railway stations in Dakar into invaded alien cities.
  • Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa) - works with several NGO’s to develop sustainable textiles and has developed a complex graphic language that draws on her Zulu and Ndebele heritage.


Related Links

Design Indaba

IKEA Today


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