African Aesthetic and Scandinavian Sensibilities

Marcus Engman, head of design at IKEA Sweden, chats about the new Afrikea collaboration between Design Indaba and IKEA. 

The new Afrikea collection, powered by a collaboration between Design Indaba and IKEA, will focus on the new, young, urban Africa. With designers from seven different African countries, the combination of African aesthetic, Scandinavian sensibilities, and IKEA’s unique approach to flatpack and democratic design is sure to lead to some very special creations. 

IKEA's first-ever exclusive, all-African collection will be ready to launch in 2019. Designers involved in the collection include Bethan Rayner and Naeem Biviji, Bibi Seck, Christian Benimana, Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem, Issa Diabaté, Laduma Ngxokolo, Paula Nascimento, Renee Rossouw, Selly Raby Kane and Sindiso Khumalo. They will be working with IKEA inhouse designers Mikael Axelsson, Kevin Gouriou, Hanna Dalrot and Johanna Jelenik.

Design Indaba, have drawn on their extensive network of designers, architects and creatives from South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Angola, Ivory Coast and Rwanda to collaborate with IKEA around modern rituals and the importance they play in the home.

“The creative explosion which is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about. We want to learn from this and spread it to the rest of the world. Working together with these designers and creatives gives us the opportunity to do so,” says Marcus Engman, Design Manager at IKEA.

“It’s affirming for the world’s biggest furniture and homeware store to partner with Design Indaba to curate their first African collection, and we have learnt so much from the collaboration to date – the designers and ourselves. The scale at IKEA is staggering, yet they are still true to their founding principles, with which we find such symmetry. They look towards democratizing design, and are happy to be infiltrated by external ideas! And we love their credo: a better everyday life for everyone. Now, it will be also inspired by urban Africa, and our intrepid pan-continental group of reformers, thinkers, makers and activists. Can’t wait for the launch,” says Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Indaba.

Original article published by Design Indaba.