IKEA ÖVERALLT: In the designers' words

At Design Indaba Conference 2019, the group of African designers share the motivations behind the products they dreamed up and realised.

Within the gambit of things Design Indaba prides itself on doing lies connection. An opportune moment for just that came when IKEA stepped into the realm of unique and multifaceted African design two years ago

The result is the limited-edition collection, which was launched at the place where it all started – Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town.

Creativity on the African continent is hard to pin down to a single type, style or moment. Some attribute it to the explosion of afrofuturism in the global creative scene, others see it simply as design in its purest, uninhibited form.

IKEA approached Design Indaba to learn more about the creative doers in several cities across Africa. Design Indaba chose ten designers, all connected to Design Indaba and its network. They were then teamed up with five IKEA designers to create a truly distinct IKEA range.

Major pacemakers in African design such as; Issa Diabaté, Selly Raby Kane, Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner, Bibi Seck, Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad, Renee Rossouw, Sindiso Khumalo and Laduma Ngxokolo were chosen to represent this burgeoning industry. In their group presentation above, the team spoke about the respective motivations for the products they designed.

Together with IKEA designers Mikael Axelsson, Ina Vuorivirta, Kevin Gouriou, Johanna Jelinek and Hanna Dalrot, they started to explore modern urban rituals - think socialising around food, living, both indoor and outdoor, identity and sustainability.

The design and development process they undertook has resulted in a collection of products that are all about building bridges and discovering the “urban living room” together with others.

“With ÖVERALLT, we want to encourage and trigger people to come together and eat, share stories, be creative and spend time with one another. And, thanks to the merging of creatives and all the good discussions we’ve had along the way, each design has a way of supporting that. ÖVERALLT is like a palette of socializing tools,” says James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA.

The timing of the collection could not be more apt. In a time when much of the world is driven by division, borders and fear, here comes a project that celebrates diversity and the beauty of what we can achieve by embracing the differences.

Laduma Ngxokolo said it best: “Although a lot of people believe that our diversity separates us, I believe that there is a lot of optimism in our homogeneity as human beings around the world.”

“And what you see today is because of our homogeneity as the world and a celebration of the Mother Land.”  

The collection, which will be available in all IKEA markets in May 2019, includes larger pieces of furniture, tableware, textiles, and a sustainable tote bag, amongst others.

The collection was on display for the first time ever during Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town, where all the ÖVERALLT activated in the exhibition and a makers-lab on the Artscape’s piazza.

Watch the full talk above.

Read more:

The coveted items that make the IKEA Överallt collection

Jepser Brodin and Marcus Engman on the start of IKEA's new African collection

Watch the Trailer with Sindiso Khumalo