British Designer Tom Dixon Talks About His Collaboration With IKEA

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We sat down with the celebrated furniture designer to talk about his recent collaboration with IKEA on the DELAKTIG collection.

What do you enjoy most about collaborating with IKEA for this collection?
Well, the ability to work with the biggest furniture company in the world. I run my own business and I create my own product development and I have my own distribution network, so it’s kind of nice to do that on a much bigger scale. Under my own brand, we produce in small quantities so our prices are more expensive, but I’ve always been interested in more universal prices and a bigger audience – that’s what I enjoyed really.

What was the DELAKTIG sofa inspired by?
If you look at the DELAKTIG sofa, it’s almost the same shape as the iPhone. And if you think about all the different apps you could buy for your phone, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here. We proposed for a series of ways of adapting the sofa so that customers could buy accessories from IKEA or through the Tom Dixon brand to make it more luxurious or to give it a different function.

The idea is that customers, in the long run, should be able to think about adapting it so that they become designers themselves. It seemed like a more modern way for to people consume furniture and adapt it as their lives evolve.

Inspired by the design of the iPhone, the DELAKTIG sofa can be configured in myriad ways to suit many different spaces.

Inspired by the design of the iPhone, the DELAKTIG sofa can be configured in myriad ways to suit many different spaces.

Why did you create a line of soft coverings under your eponymous brand to complement the DELAKTIG range?
There’s a whole series of people that work around IKEA, such as reupholstery services and adaptation on the thing and its existed for a while and I just thought it was an interesting thing to explore.

I quite like the idea of a bigger ecosystem surrounding the collection and IKEA often how to manage that and rather than managing it, I thought that we should encourage it. So now I am an IKEA hacker myself. In terms of this idea of IKEA being the core of something and around it people are adapting its products, I think that is quite modern. And also it was really talking about whether we can make an object with democratic prices that was luxurious as well. Because we used this high-quality material as the base and most sofas even luxury sofas and bed have hidden low-quality timber frames and on top, it’s luxurious materials. The idea is to create something that is of high quality to begin with, then IKEA will do the best it can to create the affordable version and I can come along with my own extravagant covers or marble side tables and transform it into a luxury object. It’s kind of interesting as well, you’ve got these two things running in parallel, they address different audiences but have the same departure point. It’s an experiment in trying to work out what it is that makes something luxurious and what it is that makes something affordable, and how you can bridge the two.

Tom created a line of accessories and soft furnishings under his eponymous brand to complement the DELAKTIG modular system.

Tom created a line of accessories and soft furnishings under his eponymous brand to complement the DELAKTIG modular system.

What are your favourite ways to arrange the DELAKTIG sofa-bed?
I’ve acquired 20 of the DELAKTIG sofas and made them into desks for my design studio. I increased the height of the seats and put a surface on them, and now they are acting as desks. So instead of clipping on lights or cushions, we’re clipping on computer monitors – that’s my own hack!

Sold in components, users can build their own DELAKTIG sofa with backrests, armrests, lamps and side tables.

Sold in components, users can build their own DELAKTIG sofa with backrests, armrests, lamps and side tables.

Photo credits: IKEA and Tom Dixon

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