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Ikea’s Newest Furniture Line: Packed With Ideas

Ikea doesn’t usually show at furniture fairs, but this year the Swedish home furnishings company made an exception.

Ikea doesn’t usually show at furniture fairs, but this year the Swedish home furnishings company made an exception at ICFF, to unveil a sprawling new line of ambitious designs. The so-called PS line is Ikea’s flagship for co-branding with high-profile designers such as Hella Jongerius; it’s also the launch pad for its most experimental pieces. When it arrives in stores this August, it’ll be a truly huge offering, comprising 71 designs. Here’s Marty Martson, Ikea’s PR director, describing the idea behind a new chair designed by FRONT–a wildly talented group that usually designs high-end, high-concept one-offs. The reading chair is an actual chair with cushions that turn, like the pages in a book:

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chair

Here’s more works from the line:

A big, spiky pendant lamp, 32″ in diameter, is the spitting image of a dandelion–in fact the shadows it throws were meant to look like dandelion petals scattered in the wind:

lamp

This room divider was meant to look like a stand of trees at the edge of a forest:

divider

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This enormous bowl–20 inches wide–resembles a huge hat misplaced by some giant:

bowl

Inspired by a park bench, this chair actually uses cutting-edge fabrics and fabrication. The top is soft and cushy, though it looks like painted wood:

chair

This bowl was the product of several months work, with the designer spending time in India and Vietnam to learn local bamboo weaving techniques. But it’s a new invention entirely, comprised bamboo sheets glued together. The bowl keeps its shape, but it’s slightly floppy as well–somewhere between wood and fabric:

PE232779

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This rug draws from those designed by North African nomads, who weave rugs to different lengths each season, to mark how plentiful a passing harvest has been:

rug

A 15-inch-tall pepper mill that was meant to look like a king’s scepter:

pepper mill

This candle holder, at 19 inches in diameter, is more of a bin. It’s meant to act like a fire grate would–the designer intended it to be filled with candles to make an “indoor campfire”:

candle holder

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A chandelier made from woven palm leaves, with a shape inspired by a dried sea urchin:

chandelier

This dining table was inspired by a millstone, complete with a hole in the center:

dining table

A basket inspired by the indigenous designs of the Sami people–native Scandinavian nomads, whose livelihoods depend on reindeer:

basket

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An apparently whimsical cabinet that hides clever packing principles–each drawer nests into the next, allowing the piece to pack into an incredibly small box for shipping:

cabinet

A stool designed to evoke a topographical map:

stool

This vase features a closed top and flared openings, so that flowers can sprout from it like a real trunk:

vase

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This shelving unit, whose wooden planks are cut to different lengths, was inspired by the haphazard look of scaffolding on a construction site:

shelf

This table lamp by FRONT–which is quite large, standing 28″ tall–is made of bits of turned wood, joined by a core of wire, which produces “bendable wood” that’s meant to lean over your shoulder, like a pet:

lamp

Read more Fast Company stories about ICFF 2009 here.

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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