The show’s over at the year’s first big design event. From mega movie nights, where the design world got to experience the Tom Dixon/IKEA bed/sofa DELAKTIG first-hand, to mindful designs that meet the challenges of urbanisation, we reflect on the ideas shared.
1. The feel-good space How do you make a space that feels as good as it looks? Mindcraft showcases Danish artistry. Its exhibition, Time, was curated by fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. With its curvaceous structures inspired by African huts, and the ringing of church bells across the sunlit cloisters, Vibskov’s show was a sensory experience. Our takeaway? The right use of light and sound in a room truely lifts the mood.
2. Protest art ‘There was a knock on the door. It was my landlord asking me to move out so he could build luxury apartments,’ says Paul Cocksedge. The artist reacted to being evicted by excavating the floor and turning it into six new pieces of furniture. ‘I looked for a way to process the situation and came to the idea of using what had surrounded me for so long.’ His rebel yell was a memorable stop in Milan.
3. Group work UK collective Assemble recognises a modern contradiction: population growth demands industrial manufacturing techniques, but humans love handmade items. Their project, The Ideal Factory, explores how we can mass-produce unique clay pieces and use colour to make a design feel individual – a reminder that with some paint and imagination, we can make the things we have uniquely ours.
4. A welcome timeout Home Sweet Home, by (Un)Known Collective, is a response to the fact that more of us will be living in smaller spaces, and explores what that means for our wellbeing. ‘We’re trying to address this from a more playful slant,’ says designer Katy Shand. ‘We have a tent structure you can fit on your bed. The lampshade (which works as a light) has film and audio. Inside, it’s like your own zone-out space.’
5. Magical lighting The chilly caverns of the Ventura Centrale exhibition were warmed by an amazing light show. At Decode/Recode, Salviati sculpted great towers of coloured lights. Design ideas we took from this display? Colour and lighting does mix. And think about the fun, drama, beauty and joy lights bring to your space, rather than just the practicalities.
6. Design for good Bas Timmer’s Sheltersuit is unusual for Milan, but it caught our attention because it changes lives. ‘It was a small ball that’s become massive!’ says Bas, of the free suit for homeless people that splits into a jacket, sleeping bag and backpack. The suits are made by homeless people, refugees and people with special needs. ‘The work lifts them up!’ says Bas. Inspired? Do something good today.
7. The team in Milan This year, creative director Jules and editor Helen joined the 300,000+ visitors at the Milan Furniture Fair. It’s a big affair – stretching from one end of the Italian city to the other. Insta feeds were full of many of the same highlights. Our team went in search of unshared stories – inspiration and ideas that could work in our homes.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.
Photographer: Jamie Baker
Art Director: Jules Rogers
Writer: Helen Bazuaye