HAY teams up with IKEA

Business Press Releases Thursday October 5, 2017 10:09
Bangkok--5 Oct--ABM

What happens when you mix a Danish design company with a Swedish furniture retailer? That's what IKEA wanted to find out by joining hands with HAY. The result is YPPERLIG, a collection that shows the true greatness of collaboration.

Founded by Mette and Rolf Hay, HAY is a Danish design company whose work stretches from architecture to fashion and who are well-known for their unique contemporary designs. Simply put: it's a natural choice for IKEA when looking for someone with whom to collaborate. While the two companies have a shared perspective on design, part of the collaboration's success also comes from having a shared perspective on values. And here, openness has been the key.

"We felt immediately that IKEA was a very open culture, so they were not afraid of sharing. From my point of view, that's one of the reasons why I was attracted to working with them, that we could actually learn something from one another," said Rolf.

Mette agreed, adding, "I think the times we are living in are so much about sharing experiences, the future is so much about collaboration. I feel that it is about doing the right collaborations, where both parties are bringing something to the table, and with IKEA and HAY I really felt that we both brought a lot to the table, and we did this together."

Passion for production
Another thing that HAY and IKEA have in common is their interest in production, which sure helps considering that many decisions impacting the final design are made on the factory floor.

So which of the products from the YPPERLIG collection are they especially fond of? Being mostly focused on the larger furniture pieces in the collection, Rolf's darling is the monoblock chair, a dining chair made with an injection mould using a single shot of liquid plastic. The shot takes about 30 seconds, and out comes a comfortable, strong yet light chair that's even suitable for public use. The team liked it so much that they also made a dining chair model, as well as a lower lounge chair.

Updating an IKEA icon

When working with her own brand, Mette's passion lies with the accessories. So when it came to YPPERLIG, it was only natural that this would be her focus too. Mette's vision was all about giving new life to some of the most iconic IKEA pieces, and one of the products that was chosen was the IKEA blue bag. She was very nervous about approaching IKEA on the subject, as it's such an icon. Good thing she did though, as the collection now contains three new versions of the bag, all of which are still true to the original version, but now with a twist of HAY.

"The blue bag is one of the most widely known and used IKEA products – but one that no one appreciates as a design object. So we kept its dimensions, and updated it in new patterns and colors. It's a celebration of this iconic product," said Mette.

A collaboration full of learning
What did the couple discover the most from their collaboration with IKEA?

"We learned a lot of things from this collaboration that we can apply to our own company: the simplicity in the IKEA supply chain, and making something that's complex more simple and therefore better and less expensive. We also learned a lot about creating the best tools and strong solutions, and dealing with flat pack challenges," said Rolf Hay.

At the end of the day, YPPERLIG is a collection that very much represents the vision that both Mette and Rolf had when taking on the project: a collection that's a celebration of the basics; where products are clever yet understated, all with a timeless quality that ages beautifully.

HAY facts
Names: Rolf and Mette Hay, the husband-and-wife duo behind HAY: the design and furniture company.
From: Copenhagen, Denmark

Background: Rolf began his career working for various design companies in Denmark and teaching himself design and design development, while Mette's parents ran a design store. They founded HAY in 2002, and HAY Mini Market, a pop-up accessories concept shop in 2014.

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