IKEA in search for the sweet spot between art and functional objects

IKEA sets out on the journey to explore the sweet spot between art and functional objects. Six multidisciplinary artists from around the world have been invited to contribute with their take on the topic for the next IKEA Art Event. Together, we’re on the lookout for a new generation of home accessories, focusing on uniqueness, meaningfulness and strong artistic signatures.

Since 2015, IKEA Art Event has worked with contemporary artists from around the world, highlighting different aspects of art such as glass sculptures, photography and handmade rugs. Although the genres and techniques have varied, the ambition has stayed the same – to create art that is accessible to everyone.

For the next IKEA Art Event, launching in 2021, we want to offer objects that fuse art and design and that people can relate to and feel emotionally attached to.

“At IKEA, we believe that art enriches everyday life and this is why we keep exploring various aspects of art. Always together with highly talented people. For the next IKEA Art Event, we focus on the sweet spot between art and functional objects. The duality of non-functional objects and everyday design opens up for a new kind of products, which both serves peoples functional needs and emotional aspirations,” says Henrik Most, Creative Leader at IKEA of Sweden.

To join this journey, celebrating the many expressions of art, IKEA has invited a group of contemporary artists with different backgrounds; Sabine Marcelis, Daniel Arsham, Humans since 1982, Stefan Marx, Maroussia Rebecq and Gelchop.   

“For me, it´s an interesting challenge to think about a lighting object which is designed as a simple gesture but with maximum impact. Having the form of the object dictate its effect more so than its materiality, which is what I am more used to. And to collaborate with IKEA and create something accessible to many, as my work primarily stays in an exclusive sector for the moment, is an exciting challenge!” says Sabine Marcelis.

Designer duo Humans since 1982 says, “We found the visual similarity of drones and insects quite striking so we have arranged a selection of drones into a display case, presented in a way that mimics a traditional insect collection. By presenting the drones in this way we want to address the uncertainty of our future that drones epitomise, as technology enters in to all aspects of our lives.”

This time around, IKEA will not only focus on the collection as such but also how art can meet people and be available where people are. Together with the New York based collaborative design practise, Snarkitecture, IKEA will explore new solutions to present and distribute the art. 

“Snarkitecture has always had the goal of making architecture perform the unexpected. At the same time we aim to create environments that are accessible and engaging to a wide and diverse audience, inviting people to consider the importance of art, design and architecture in our everyday lives. We see our collaboration with IKEA is an extension of these ideas and an exciting opportunity to partner with a company that believes in design for everyone,” says Alex Mustonen, co-founder of Snarkitecture.


Sabine Marcelis
Educated in industrial design, Sabine Marcelis brings a strong focus on material to her art. She’s continually in search of magical moments within materiality and manufacturing processes in order to create unexpected experiences. Based in the Netherlands, Marcelis works with product, installation, and spatial design.

Daniel Arsham
Daniel Arsham is a multidisciplinary American artist. His work combines art, architecture, and performance. He has extensive experience collaborating with other creative leaders in the areas of stage production, fashion, interior design, and architecture. His latest art explores future civilization. Arsham is the co-founder of Snarkitecture. 

Humans since 1982
Humans since 1982 fuse art and design into subversive everyday objects raising questions about technologies accelerating and dualistic nature, how it embeds elements of progression and destruction for all living species.

Stefan Marx
Stefan Marx is a German artist and illustrator who uses his distinct style to capture and portray the mundane of everyday. He draws inspiration from different subcultures, like graffiti and techno, to create art in various media, including skateboard designs, large-scale oil paintings, and porcelain vases.

Maroussia Rebeqc
Upcycling and repurposing are foundational in Maroussia Rebeqc’s work. She founded Andrea Crews, a streetwear label, with the goal of revolutionising mainstream fashion rules. She explores personal creativity, experimentation, and the power of experience through he many collaborations and projects.

Gelchop deconstructs no-name design products and transform them into readymade art objects with querky, photogenic attitude that is made to make you laugh and wonder about the purpose and nature.

Snarkitecture is a New York based collaborative design practice established to investigate the boundaries between artistic disciplines with large-scale projects, installations, and objects. Their conceptual approach focuses on the importance of experience.