How IKEA’s Most Highly Anticipated Collaboration Came to Be

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This just might be IKEA’s most anticipated collaboration yet. This week, after months of teasing, the Swedish furniture giant rolled out its collaboration with Hay, the Copenhagen-based design company helmed by Mette and Rolf Hay. For the Ypperlig line,in stores and online now, the Hays devised everything from furniture to accessories to, yes, that iconic tote bag in tandem with IKEA’s development team. AD caught up with Rolf to hear more about the process, inspiration, and the Hays’ hopes for the collection.

A chair, throw, lamp, candlesticks, and shelving from the Ypperlig collection.

Photo: Oskar Falck

A sofa in the collection.

Photo: Oskar Falck

AD: Can you start off by telling us what your inspiration for this collection was?

Rolf Hay: When you get the opportunity to do a collection for a big company like IKEA, it’s very important to find the right starting point. For us, we were looking at two different subjects: accessories, like textiles and small objects; and furniture. For me personally, I was in charge of the furniture, and Mette was in charge of accessories. We wanted to approach IKEA from a direction where we think they are really strong, and that’s production. Many of the chairs and tables were driven by production technology that IKEA had existing in their factories. We wanted to create strong products for a reasonable price. So many of the products we did came from going to different IKEA factories, seeing what they were doing, and using that tech to create logical solutions to the projects. For accessories, it was the other way around. My wife had this idea about approaching some of the things we purchase at IKEA in our family that we use in our everyday life and making interpretations of those well-known objects. For example, we always buy these IKEA fleece blankets, so we decided to redesign there, and that was adding something new to something that was already working for IKEA. So, instead of creating something new we were improving.