Just over a year ago, Ikea recruited some of Africa’s top designers to create a unique line. This month, Ikea offered the first glimpse of that collaboration, known as Överallt, which means “everywhere” in Swedish. The range includes armchairs, textiles, benches and tableware.
At Design Indaba in Cape Town last year, Ikea built a simple house in the expo area where designers began working on their pieces and travelled back and forth to Sweden over the last year to complete them. The designers who got to work with Ikea were clear about the opportunity of bringing their work to a new customer base.
Ten designers representing seven African countries collaborated with five in-house designers to produce a range that blends Ikea’s Scandinavian functionality with philosophies of African design. The range is refreshing because it doesn’t just fall back into simple interpretations of design on the continent, like covering a chair in Ankara fabric. Instead, each designer has drawn on their culture but also their experience of contemporary urban Africa.
The collection will be available for a limited time from May next year, but so far there are no indications, according to an Ikea spokesperson, that the range will be available at any African stores.