IKEA is working together with Lebanese designer Nada Debs for the collection LJUV — named after the Swedish word for delightful — where traditional Middle Eastern patterns and symbols meet Scandinavian design. The collection is as a mix of big and small decorative and functional items like floor cushions, rugs, trays, ceramics and glassware that make it easy to host many guests. We asked our Instagram followers to send questions to Nada, and here are the answers to some of them!
How did the collaboration begin?
“For me, it all started several years ago when I contacted IKEA about another project, but IKEA asked if I was interested in designing a Middle Eastern collection. The fact that I had grown up in Japan gave me the right sense of aesthetics that Swedish design also related to, so I had the right mix of Middle Eastern mindset design and Swedish design.”
How did you approach the assignment?
“We started by analyzing what is considered to be a contemporary Middle Eastern style. We looked at the concept of geometry, astronomy, and even senses. For IKEA, we felt that the collection had to have a strong identity so we focused on geometry in terms of form and also pattern. The idea was to exaggerate the pattern to be scaled at different sizes so we applied it to fabric cushions, ceramic plates, brass lanterns and even on glass tables. And to keep the whole collection contemporary, we also used fresh colours.”
What has this collaboration meant to you as a designer?
“To me, being a designer that works with luxury craft, this was something that was very challenging because I had to take into consideration IKEA’s Democratic Design principles in addition to working with a mass-production industry mindset.”
Has collaborating with IKEA changed your work process in any way?
“Very much so! I am now able to see how a design process in a global company works from start to finish. Working with a team of professionals from packaging to quality control as I was designing showed me how much is involved in making a product. I also learned that time is of the essence. As a designer, we often take our time to keep improving our designs but when you are working in an industry, there’s no room for that. Quick decision-making and organization were key elements in the design process!
Read the full story about Nada Debs and the collaboration here.
The LJUV collection will launch in February 2020 in selected markets in the Middle East.