• ​​​​​​​ Rolf and Mette Hay

Making ‘Hay’ with Ikea icons

shopping October 08, 2017 01:00

By The Sunday Nation

5,101 Viewed

Swedish and Danish talent converge in the clever new Ypperlig collection



SWEDISH FURNITURE retailer Ikea is known for products that are functional, affordable, flat-packed and easily assembled, while Danish furniture brand Hay is admired for its minimal yet playful designs that combine cutting-edge technology with innovative research. 

When the two companies have a shared perspective on design, the result is the inspiring Ypperlig collection that celebrates “the basics” with clear yet understated products.

Founded by married couple Rolf and Mette Hay, Hay’s portfolio stretches from architecture to fashion. It’s well known for unique contemporary designs. 

“We felt immediately that Ikea was a very open culture, so they weren’t afraid of sharing,” says Rolf. “That’s one of the reasons I was attracted to working with them – that we could actually learn something from one another.”

“I think the times we’re living in are so much about sharing experiences and the future is so much about collaboration,” adds Mette. “I feel it’s 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.”

Being mostly focused on the larger furniture pieces in the Ypperlig collection, Rolf’s favourite is the monoblock 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. The design team liked it so much that they also made a lower lounge chair the same way.

When working with her own brand, Mette’s passion lies with accessories. So when it came to Ypperlig, that’s where her focus was too. 

Mette’s vision was giving new life to iconic Ikea pieces, and one of the products that was chosen was the blue bag. She was nervous about even approaching Ikea on the subject, but it’s a good thing she did, because the collection contains three new versions of the bag.

All are true to the original version, but now have a twist of Hay.

“The blue bag is one of the most widely known and used Ikea products – but no one appreciates it as a design object,” says Mette. “So we kept its dimensions and updated it in new patterns and colours. It’s a celebration of this iconic product.”

Rolf says the couple learned a lot from the collaboration that they can apply to their own company.

“There’s the simplicity in the Ikea supply chain, and making something that’s complex simpler 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.”

The collection is available at Ikea Thailand. Go to www.Ikea.co.th.