Ikea already has the market cornered on young, broke city kids desperate for some decent furniture (just try attending a New York apartment party without knocking into a Billy bookshelf). But to be sure, the Swedish furniture behemoth announced a new collection today that’s even trendier and more adaptable than its usual products.
The PS 2014 "On the Move" collection consists of 51 items, many of which perform double duty: a nightstand has a built-in lamp and a wraparound side that turns into a magazine rack; a coat rack has branch-like hooks for hanging up coats, hats, and purses; and a stacked shelving system with hooks could easily hold an entire kitchen's worth of eating utensils and cookware. The lookbook is styled to resemble the sort of creative mess young folks might aspire to have in their own sunny lofts. Ikea also recruited Matali Crasset, the team at Rich Brilliant Willing, and a handful of other designers, to create pieces in the collection.
At Ikea, Peter Klinkert heads up special collections, and it’s his job to survey global trends in home design. Last year was the first year more people lived in cities than not, he tells Co.Design, and that trend is expected to continue—meaning more renters, and less space for said renters. That was top of mind when Ikea developed the PS 2014 line.
Ikea designs according to an in-house methodology called "democratic design," meaning all products should be flexible and affordable, Klinkert. Ikea’s team of 16 designers worked with another team of about 50 contract designers to identify the basic elements of the collection (Should it include chairs? A desk?) before refining the vision. One method of vetting new products at Ikea is for company employees to take designs home and give them a test run, Klinkert says. For the PS 2014 line, Ikea also brought in 20 design students to weigh in, since they’re the ones who actually live in cramped apartments.
The PS 2014 Collection is expected to go on sale April 1.