A couple years ago, Ikea announced a partnership with Design Indaba, the mega design conference that takes place in South Africa every year. The plan was to pair designers from across Africa with designers from Ikea in order to produce furniture, accessories, and textiles that are rooted in African design traditions.
Now, the collection is finally here and on display at this year’s conference. Ten designers created the goods in the Överallt line, which range from a cast iron pot by Kenya’s Studio Propolis to a woven rocking chair from Senegalese designer Bibi Seck to brightly patterned pillows and blanket from Cape Town designers Sindiso Khumalo and Renee Rossouw.
The designers worked with a team from Ikea to give their work a Scandinavian touch, but all of the pieces in the collection are meant to be a reflection of the maker’s culture.
Seck explains that his woven chair takes inspiration from the time he spends in his mother’s Dakar garden, relaxing and letting time flow by. “I imagine people sitting in this rocking chair, rocking and reflecting,” he says. “I imagine my father who is in his eighties sitting in it, smoking his cigar; my sister-in-law with her newborn baby; my niece and nephews playing on it.”
Another highlight comes from Studio Propolis designers Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner, who worked with Ikea’s Mikael Axelsson to design a set of table and benches from eucalyptus wood. Curved benches with wood slats hug the table, creating a modern but inviting place to gather around for a meal.
The Överallt line will go on sale in May.