Swedish retailer IKEA marked its eightieth anniversary at Milan design week with Assembling the Future Collectively, an immersive exhibition that charts the furnishings firm’s historical past and addresses its future.
Assembling the Future Collectively passed off at Padiglione Visconti in Milan and explored the model’s development because the Nineteen Fifties.
“The entire exhibition is in regards to the previous, the current and the longer term,” stated IKEA designer and chief artistic officer Marcus Engman.
“So it is somewhat bit like telling the story of IKEA furnishings, issues now we have carried out and issues that we are going to do much more,” he instructed Dezeen in Milan.
To mirror this concept, the house was divided into three foremost sections. One space devoted to the previous options designs from IKEA’s 80-year historical past displayed on geometric white shelving.
Among the many items was furnishings from the Seventies with shiny materials and daring shapes, which had been influenced by the growing emergence of youth tradition throughout this decade, based on the model.
Chunky kids’s furnishings from IKEA’s Mammut collection was additionally included. The road was first designed within the Nineteen Nineties and has remained well-liked ever since.
For the current portion of the exhibition, the model launched the primary merchandise in its new Nytillverkad assortment.
Characterised by “easy, purposeful and playful” components, the furnishings, bedding and equipment intend to pay homage to previous iconic IKEA items consistent with the present wide-spread revival of curiosity in classic designs, based on the model.
Whereas the gathering nods to IKEA’s roots, the model used up to date supplies to create the items.
“It is placing outdated issues into a brand new perspective,” defined Engman.
Massive-scale up to date pictures, which confirmed members of the general public sporting IKEA’s recognisable blue and yellow Frakta buying bag in sudden methods, had been suspended from the ceiling all through the venue
One picture confirmed a bride defending her gown inside one of many customers on her marriage ceremony day, whereas one other has been tailored to move a canine on the subway in New York.
“Even when we understand our merchandise as ‘prepared design’, folks see them a bit extra like Lego items to play with,” acknowledged the designer. “Folks use the Frakta bag in so some ways we did not anticipate.”
The longer term space of the exhibition options 4 towering installations devoted to the weather of fireplace, water, earth and wind, which embrace an illuminated tree and smoke dispensers.
“The longer term half is all about displaying how we’re utilizing design and product growth to nudge folks’s behaviours into doing one thing that’s good for folks and the planet,” mirrored Engman.
“It is also the place we attempt to problem folks to be a part of this – not simply watch for IKEA to do stuff, however really ask, how can we do issues collectively?”
“We’ve got got down to be absolutely round by 2030 in order that impacts all the things that we do,” he continued.
Designed as an inclusive, “down-to-earth” house that’s open to all, the exhibition drew collectively many different experiences, equivalent to a cinema zone displaying portraits taken by photographer and IKEA’s first artist-in-residence Annie Leibovitz that doc the “actual lives” of individuals of their houses.
The challenge is a part of IKEA’s annual Life at Dwelling Report, the place members of the model’s staff go to folks of their dwelling areas and doc their findings.
Varied talks and music occasions passed off within the house all through the week alongside a devoted “file store” and on-site IKEA cafe serving branded meals and drinks.
The goal of incorporating music into the exhibition was to deliver folks collectively, based on Engman. Speaking the sacredness of the house is on the core of the IKEA exhibition, stated the designer.
“That is one thing for us that we have to always work on – discovering new methods of getting folks to grasp how necessary the house is,” he defined.
“I imply, the challenges throughout covid and now the price of dwelling disaster has been the place we may also help out much more.”
“As a result of folks have needed to spend extra time at house – however how can we make the house additionally one thing that’s actually not only a purposeful factor, however an emotional factor?” he continued.
“So I believe that is our largest factor, however ensuring we try this in people- and planet-positive methods. As a result of that is the one method ahead.”
Beforehand, IKEA donated its merchandise and design providers to create a collection of United Nations-led refugee assist centres in Jap Europe to supply sanctuary to susceptible teams displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The model’s analysis lab, Space10, developed an idea for connecting bodily furnishings to an ever-evolving NFT tree.
Assembling the Future Collectively is on present from 18 to 23 April 2023 at Padiglione Visconti, By way of Tortona 58, Milan. See our Milan design week 2023 information on Dezeen Occasions Information for details about the various different exhibitions, installations and talks going down all through the week.