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Exclusive UK interview: Marcus Engman, Head of Design for IKEA

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I was recently invited to Ikea’s HQ in Sweden for their Democratic Design day where I, along with journalists from all over the world, had a behind the scenes  experience of the worlds biggest furniture store. I met designers, suppliers, product developers and engineers but the real highlight for me was meeting and interviewing Ikea royalty; Marcus Engman, Head of Design for Ikea.

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I am thrilled to be able to play you the full interview with Marcus as he has some really interesting answers to our questions, when asked what his favourite material was, he offers us some trend forecasting gold with his answer, could this really be the way materials are headed?  You’ll have to listen to see what his answer was… He also touches upon the effects of Social Media, our day-to-day living and sustainability.

The recording stops and starts a little in the middle whilst a few questions were translated for the Russian journalist but stick with it, it’s a fantastic insight into the renowned designers mind.

Below are a section of images from my wonderful trip including the Ikea Museum, new products for 2017 and the Ikea photographic studios, arguably the biggest in the world…

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This bowl from the IKEA PS 201 7 collection (launching in Spring 2017) was my absolute favourite piece as I felt it defined what IKEA is all about; simple and intelligent design.  When held up to the light the bowl had a beautiful semi-transparent finish, and yet it still claims to be a robust piece; able to stand the microwave or dishwasher and allegedly smash proof, although we didn’t test that at the show!  Best of all was the subtle design addition to the functionality of an everyday bowl –  an extra high rimmed side to prevent liquid slurping over the sides (think children carrying bowls!) so simple and yet so practical and essential!

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Picture credits: the opening of the first IKEA store in Almhult / a young Ingvar Kamprad / an older Ingvar Kamprad / Ikea catalogue covers over the years / TEMA bookcase from 1957 / Selection of furniture materials and finishes / products from the IKEA museum shop / bags from the IKEA museum shop / main exhibition at the museum / board-on-frame technology / IKEA strategy / Bowl from IKEA PS 2017 / IKEA umbrellas / IKEA fabrics from the factory / Behind the scenes of IKEA photoshoot sets / Almhult train station. Thank you to the fabulous team at Hope and Glory for inviting me on their very well organised press trip :) x

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