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Tom Dixon’s DELAKTIG: made with the power of many

IKEA and designer Tom Dixon teamed up to develop a fresh, open take on seating. The result is DELAKTIG, a ‘platform for living’ made in the spirit of co-creation – its name means ‘involvement’ in Swedish and its design invites everyone to make it their own!

A black-and-white portrait of designer Tom Dixon and his team.
A black-and-white portrait of designer Tom Dixon and his team.

Modern life is fluid – by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. Our idea of space and what a room is will become even more fluid. Think of the new modular DELAKTIG as a blank canvas. Once you know what size base you need, let your dreams and needs decide the rest… A sofa that’s also a bed, a work station and a reading nook? The idea of one piece of furniture that does almost all of it becomes more appealing!

‘Working with IKEA is about breaking out of the perceived boundaries of my trade and trying something new and more democratic and affordable,’ says Tom Dixon. With that as the starting point, the team behind DELAKTIG set out to challenge how upholstered furniture is made and how the end result can work in our homes. First, Tom and IKEA looked for alternatives to traditional upholstery production. By giving DELAKTIG an aluminium frame, they were able to industrialise its production. Then, in the true spirit of co-creation, 75 students from design schools in London, Tokyo and New York were invited to workshop with the team and come up with their own ideas for DELAKTIG.

The more people that get involved in DELAKTIG, the better. I think that’s how a modern business should work

Tom Dixon

This month, DELAKTIG goes on sale in IKEA stores worldwide. ‘We’re still arguing about whether it’s a sofa or a bed. It doesn’t really matter. It’s a space that people can personalise, and use in whatever way they want,’ says Tom Dixon.

Designed with detachable upholstery and accessories including lights and side tables, the starting point for DELAKTIG’s modular series is its raw, industrial frame. Made from aluminium – a nod to Dixon’s roots in metalwork – the choice of material makes DELAKTIG lightweight, yet durable and strong enough to last a lifetime. ‘Don’t chuck DELAKTIG away if you’re finished with it,’ says Tom. ‘Turn it into something else, something new. Or save it for the children so they can take it with them when they move out.’

DELAKTIG made its debut in a converted cinema during the 2017 Milan Furniture Fair. It was a chance for the interiors world to see what’s possible when design is opened up and the idea of collaboration runs through the whole process. So the cinema’s foyer was filled with DELAKTIGs, configured in different ways to show the versatility of the modular system, and also fitted with different covers – from the core black and blue made by IKEA, to monochrome striped covers from Bemz, and the super furry Yeti from Tom Dixon. ‘The multi-purpose nature and openness of the project also got us to think of openness in the way we work with this project. For a curious company like IKEA, the idea of inviting more talent to co-create the open platform was on the cards,’ explains James Futcher, creative leader at IKEA.

DELAKTIG, the new modular series from Tom Dixon and IKEA, is in-store from February