IKEA and Tom Dixon explore urban farming at Chelsea Flower Show

At Chelsea Flower Show 21 - 25 May, IKEA and Tom Dixon will explore the importance of sustainable growing, looking at the contrast of the hyper-natural and hyper-tech. The garden, entitled “Gardening will Save the World” will feature exclusive prototypes of a new IKEA and Dixon range coming in 2021. Following Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will be donated to Participatory City, an innovative practical participation platform, that includes supporting greening and urban farming projects in Barking and Dagenham East London.

Exploring alternative, local and more sustainable ways of growing food is essential in our current climate. As a result, IKEA is collaborating with world-renowned designer Tom Dixon to explore how democratic design principles can be applied to urban farming. The first step of this project has been working on a garden with the Design Research Studio, the design and innovations studio at the heart of Tom Dixon for the exhibition at Chelsea Flower Show, named “Gardening will save the world”.

The garden will demonstrate how people can contribute to the movement of growing at home, and make a difference to reducing food waste, as well as broadcasting the beauty and functional importance of horticulture, through both traditional knowledge and the latest in growing innovation.

“‘As part of the Chelsea Flower Show, we have designed and realised an experimental model for growing plants in the urban environment. Aiming to give back to cities and create productive landscapes within urban zones, the garden includes a raised modular landscape with edible and medicinal plants and an enclosed based garden fuelled by hydroponic systems and controllable lighting” says Tom Dixon.

Exploring the contrast of the hyper-natural and hyper-tech to encourage an independent approach to growing, the garden will be split into two levels and feature over 4,000 plants. The garden’s base will be a horticultural laboratory where hydroponic technology is implemented, whilst the raised garden will be a botanic oasis with a natural aesthetic for visitors to immerse themselves in.

The exhibition will also offer an exclusive look during a media preview at some of the first prototypes of product ideas that Tom Dixon has designed on urban growing, which will be available globally at IKEA stores in 2021. This coming range is the second part of the project and collaboration between IKEA and Tom Dixon with the ambition to find affordable and sustainable solutions to grow plants and vegetables in our homes and urban environments. 

“For IKEA, this project is about bringing attention to the future of the environment and the importance of growing food locally. We want to create smart solutions to encourage people and make it easier to grow plants themselves anywhere they can, whether that’s in their community garden, rooftop or in containers on balconies and window sills” says James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA Range and Supply.

After IKEA and Tom Dixon have displayed their ideas at Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will be donated to charity Participatory City and moved to Barking and Dagenham in East London. Parts of the garden will be re-created at The Warehouse, the largest public makerspace in London to help inspire and enable more people to enjoy it and learn about the importance of growing food locally. Participatory City and IKEA share the ambition of making sustainable and healthy living available for the many, every day, led by local people.

“Our five-year project to boost the collective efforts to create a circular economy from the ground up, and with residents at the heart, will really benefit from having the garden re-installed here and for people who live and work in the borough to enjoy,” says Tessy Britton from Participatory City.

The ‘Gardening will Save the World’ exhibition will be at the Chelsea Flower Show on 21st – 25th May, stand no. GPE 203.

The garden will then be moved to Barking and Dagenham, where charity Participatory City will be running a series of projects at the installation from 25th June for four weeks. The garden will then remain at this location for at least three years, ahead of the regeneration project beginning in this area.


About IKEA
IKEA offers well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA Brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943. In the Range & Supply business, IKEA of Sweden AB is responsible for developing, designing and producing home furnishing solutions to address the everyday needs of the many people. 

About Tom Dixon
Established in 2002, Tom Dixon is currently present in 68 countries through either direct or indirect commercial operations. The lifestyle brand creates extraordinary objects and spaces for everyday use, pioneering new design and materials and setting new trends in the industry. The latest chapter of Tom´s design journey began in 2001 when he left corporate life to create his own eponymous brand, as a platform for a series of new adventures in the design of products and interiors. Seventeen years on, Tom Dixon is now a widely celebrated global force in interior design with our own hubs in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

About Participatory City
Participatory City Foundation is an ambitious new approach to helping citizens shape their community and start projects that make everyday life better. Participatory City Foundation has partnered with Barking and Dagenham Council to launch Every One Every Day, an ambitious and large-scale initiative to create more than 250 neighbourhood projects in the next five years.

About Design Research Studio
Design Research Studio, the design and innovations studio at the heart of Tom Dixon, have partnered with IKEA to imagine the future of urban farming. A restless innovator, Tom established Design Research Studio in 2003 to work on innovative projects and products with a wide variety of partners, brands, developers and entrepreneurs. Since its formation, DRS has delivered high concept interiors, architectural design, retail design, exhibitions, branding and custom products under the Creative Direction of Tom.

  Related Links

Plant List for IKEA and Tom Dixon garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2019

IKEA today blog post - Will Gardening Save The World?

Video about the project

  • Range and Supply
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