Designer Mikael Axelsson’s prejudices about IKEA as a production machine without freedom have come to nothing. Five years in, he enjoys both the artistry and the boundaries of making Democratic Design at IKEA.
Having previously worked on the VÄLGÖRANDE collection, a collaboration with artisans in Romania; Mikael is one of the designers from IKEA's team who was part of bringing the ÖVERALLT collection to life.
Educated first as a technical engineer Mikael then moved onto product design at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. His graduation project, a set of lamps driven mechanically without an external electric source, called “Independent Lamp,” won three design prizes and caught the attention of Marcus Engman, the then Head of Design at IKEA of Sweden.
Engman offered him a five-week internship in Älmhult which Mikael accepted after giving it some thought. “I was sceptical at first, and couldn’t see myself working there, but it didn’t take long before I loved it. My internship was prolonged, and here I am.”
Mikael will be on stage along with the other designers who collaborated with Design Indaba on the ÖVERALLT collection.