IKEA and Hay reveal full collaborative Ypperlig collection

IKEA and Hay have released a set of images that show the full range of furniture and homeware products from their collaboration. The Ypperlig collection, which was first announced during IKEA’s Democratic Design Day event in Sweden last year, will be released in October 2017. The collaboration has seen Hay work alongside the Swedish furniture giant work to come up with pieces that “challenge people’s perception of IKEA quality and design”.

When two greats of Scandinavian design come together with similar values, it’s bound to produce interesting results. The collaboration between IKEA and husband-and-wife duo Rolf and Mette Hay of HAY really seems like the perfect meeting of minds – both share an ambition to make good design accessible to all and an eye for sophisticated industrial manufacturing. I think it’s a great opportunity to nab yourself a must-have piece of HAY design at an affordable, low price. Does anything catch your eye?

‘HAY and IKEA are both driven by production. Yes, we’re designers but we also have a genuine passion for how things are made,’ Rolf says. ‘We learned a lot of things from this collaboration that we can apply to our own company: the simplicity in the IKEA supply chain, and making something that’s complex more simple and therefore better and less expensive.’ ‘We also learned a lot about creating the best tools and strong solutions, and dealing with flat-pack challenges.’

‘The idea for the collection was to do design that is totally clever, but understated at the same time. There are a lot of pieces with new constructions, new ways of doing things, but it is design that still blends in,’ says Marcus Engman, head of design at IKEA. ‘We would like people to live with these things for a long time.’

Comprised of 72 pieces, YPPERLIG is a collection of understated yet contemporary staples that explore the functional and emotional needs of the modern home. From day-beds and sofas, through cushions and candleholders, to shelving and stools, the collection combines technical innovation with simple, pared-back design. The pieces are predominantly designed for the living room but could seamlessly fit in elsewhere in the home. They’re clean and minimal, while maintaining a beautiful silhouette and form.

Key pieces in the collection include Hay’s take on a Scandinavian plank table, and a sofa inspired by a vintage 1950s piece but made from a single moulded piece of foam. It also includes Hay’s redesign of IKEA’s iconic blue and yellow Frakta bag, made from a white and forest-green woven fabric, with forest-green straps. “It’s one of the most known and used IKEA products, but one that no one appreciates as a design object,” said Mette Hay. “We kept its measurements and updated it in new patterns and colours. It’s a celebration of this iconic product.”

Hay is the latest in a series of designer collaborations for IKEA. The company launched a collection by British designer Ilse Crawford in 2015 and is also working with Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek on limited-edition furniture. Last year, rapper Kanye West attempted to jump on the bandwagon when he declared his ambitions to design for the company.

During this year’s Democratic Design Day – an annual event during which the company announces its new projects for the forthcoming year – IKEA said it will work alongside fashion designer Virgil Abloh to produce a collection aimed at millennials.

Parts of the text and images from Dezeen and Cate St Hill.

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