Who makes the best IKEA hacks? After last week's IKEA Festival during Milan's Design Week, the clear winner is IKEA. For their first official foray into presenting during the festivities of Salone del Mobile (2015's kitchen-focused presentation in Tortona was also meant to address the throngs of visitors for Expo Milan), IKEA did it big, taking over a huge warehouse in Ventura Lambrate with multiple vignettes curated by influencers like designer Faye Toogood, the editors of OpenHouse, and interior stylists Anna & Pella, as well as daily programming, live art, product debuts and of course, meatballs.
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Faye Toogood had a great showing in Milan and her installation for IKEA was a platform to showcase her signature affinity for white paint and theatrical approach—collapsing scale, dimension and surface in whimsical and unexpected arrangements of interior objects.
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"Enfant Terrible" repurposed beloved IKEA classics into a wonderland of mismatched furniture replete with an adult-friendly slide, and an oversized couch plucked from Pee-Wee's to populate Faye's Playhouse.
YPPERLIG Chairs designed by HAY for IKEA.
But perhaps the most understated but most anticipated of the festival's goings-on was the debut of two highly anticipated designer collaborations—the YPPERLIG collection by Hay and the DELAKTIG by Tom Dixon. YPPERLIG was teased last year with an abstract film jointly released by the companies that contained no reference to actual pieces of furniture but alluded to a mood that might guide the collection. Chairs from the yet-to-released collection were some of the most enviable products on display.
DELAKTIG by Tom Dixon for IKEA.
Similarly, the DELAKTIG was designed to address the increasing expectations from the modern city-dweller of the products that populate their life. Designed for "hacking," the DELAKTIG is a daybed of sorts, what IKEA calls, "an open platform for social living," that can work as a primary couch, a guest bed, in the corner of a room or as a centerpiece with infinite possibilities for add-ons on its steel frame. As Dixon told The New York Times in an interview about the collaboration, "It's very much something that can mutate according to your changing conditions. You could put on a lamp, a phone charger, a side table. You could raise or lower it, or put it on wheels. It can easily go from being a student bed to a really posh couch, and then back again when you have kids."
More scenes from 2017's IKEA Festival at Milan Design Week
Painting Robot plotting to take over the world. Painting robot in action. Soft seating IKEA Hack Soft Spot main stage for programming encouraged a lot of lounging. SPACE10, IKEA's living lab in Copenhagen, prototyped an open-source garden pavilion. New rug collection. Small vignettes curated by Anna & Pella featured artisans working in the space. Tailor working in an Anna & Pella vignette. Painter working in an Anna & Pella vignette.