HAY x IKEA: A Designer Collaboration With Democratic Design

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We sit down with the founders of Danish furniture brand HAY to talk about their recent collaboration with IKEA.

What was your reaction when IKEA approached you to collaborate with them?
Initially, IKEA asked for a casual meeting and we met in one of our stores outside of opening hours. At that time point, we were not talking about a collaboration, just the industry and our design perspectives. I think both companies have a big passion for production, understanding products and the people who are buying them.

The YPPERLIG collection is combines HAY’s contemporary-chic aesthetics with IKEA’s timeless sensibilities.

The YPPERLIG collection combines HAY’s contemporary-chic aesthetics with IKEA’s timeless sensibilities.

You’ve done other collaborations before, so why do you like collaborating with other brands and creative studios?
We are a company interested in evolving and learning. We believe there is a lot more to be gained from collaborating than staying isolated.

What were some of the main takeaways you learnt from your collaboration with IKEA?
Working with IKEA means also working with some of the finest toolmakers in the world, the best engineers, and the best producers and the entire time IKEA has been completely open to sharing ideas and techniques, they never said anything was a secret. The open atmosphere and constant sharing of knowledge have been something truly special and definitely one of the most exciting parts of the project.

Rolf and Mette Hay of Danish furniture brand HAY say working with IKEA was an exciting endeavour.

Rolf and Mette Hay of Danish furniture brand HAY say working with IKEA was an exciting endeavour.

How did you decide which products to create for IKEA?
After our first meeting with the IKEA team in Sweden, we already knew on the drive home that our biggest wish was to work with some of the classic IKEA products. We wanted to see if we could come up with new ideas for already well-known products.

How did you arrive at the colour palette for the YPPERLIG collection?
A lot of the furniture is grey, and white, and green but with the accessories, we played much more with the colour, they are the glue in this collection. Of course, it is always important to look at the product first, and then the colour should be appropriate. Some products are simpler, some brighter, but we wanted to create products that are long lasting so we chose colours that are not overpowering but can fit into the collection.

Why update the iconic FRAKTA bag?
We really wanted to work on the FRAKTA bag because we have always had a big passion for everyday objects and the FRAKTA bag is definitely one of the world’s most used everyday objects. There was a Sunday soon after that first meeting where we were driving through Copenhagen and we saw so many people on the street coming home from sports or the summer house or with bed linens or laundry and it was so prevalent and clear what a useful object the bag is.

HAY decided to update IKEA’s iconic FRAKTA bag because the design studio sees it as an everyday essential.

HAY decided to update IKEA’s iconic FRAKTA bag because the design studio sees it as an everyday essential.

What is your favourite piece from the YPPERLIG collection?
We don’t have a favourite piece, we are very happy with the whole collection. I think it is quite balanced and works well in the IKEA context.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the December 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: IKEA 

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