Milano Design Week 2017 would not have been complete without a visit to the IKEA Festival, located suitably across a warehouse Via Lambrate, on the crossroads between Ventura Lambrate & Centrale and signposted upon exit from nearby Lambrate station as though attending a sold out concert. Following the hype, we weren’t disappointed, as IKEA festival delivered a fusion of its signature furniture and products amid an atmosphere of collaboration across disciplines and emerging design.
Visually, IKEA Festival embodied the biggest theme of Milano Design Festival 2017 in it’s emphasis on the incorporation of nature within the home space.
Talks accompanying the open space in the centre of the warehouse featured discussions with IKEA’s latest batch of designer collaborations. In a reflection of the importance of encouraging, supporting and collaborating with external designers, the biggest message of all perhaps was the ability to work with designers across less traditional disciplines, from streetwear clothing and Parisian boutique designers, to cartoonists and illustrators.
Working with a brand as huge as IKEA, designers working on the latest batch of projects delved into the increased need of having autonomy of their design process to yield the most authentic results. The designers in discussion paved the way to an open debate on the importance of making art accessible and purchasable in order to extend the reach of new visions.
The spectrum of international designers not only gave light to the process of bringing their designs to a wider market, but also highlighted how a more interconnected world has (finally) fostered a movement for the sustainability of materials. Complimenting the green theme weaved throughout the festival, designers today emphasised the importance of reusing materials.