From Ikea to Art

From Ikea to Art

Toronto architects and designers have transformed items from the Ikea showroom into unique objects for the Design Exchange’s fundraiser auction.

The Design Exchange, a museum devoted to design housed in Toronto’s former Stock Exchange building, is putting a handful of Ikea products on the auction block – but you won’t find anything quite like them in the Swedish furniture giant’s ubiquitous catalogue. The auction is a part of DX Intersection, an annual fundraiser and gala held in honour of an influential or boundary-crossing designer (this year it’s Douglas Coupland). Organizers furnished 20 local architecture and design teams, including Zeidler Partnership Architects, Mason Studio and Barr Gilmore, with a $500 budget to spend at Ikea, inviting them to use their haul as the raw materials for an original creation. The results are a bold illustration of how the most basic elements, looked at in a different light, can become the raw materials of something completely new.

The team from Bruce Mau Design personalized tableware with typographically playful slogans, including “Undo your top button” and “Bury your phone,” to making eating in as fun as dining out.

Christina Zeidler‘s Queer Camo transforms Ikea footrests using a fabric printed with a pattern of images from nature combined with brilliant pink camouflage spots.

How to Tie a Bowtie, from menswear designer Philip Sparks, started with an attempt to tie 50 cord sets and bulbs using a classic bow tie know, producing an abstract layered pendant.

Scott Barker combined wooden lattices and simple mirrors to construct a room divider that multiplies, producing fun-house copies of itself through a series of internal reflections.

Sid Lee Collective‘s Spela – Swedish for “Play” – turns a standard dining table into a stage for personalities including Jimi Hendrix, Pavarotti, and Lady Gaga. A playful take on Ikea’s assembly manual is provided to help identify the table’s inhabitants.

The Design Agency created this screen wall (left) using layers of wooden stools.  Nooks between the legs hold glass bowls that provide additional storage. Paul Raff Studio created this pixellated portrait (right) in the likeness of Toronto’s mayor.

Thrush Holmes‘s creation of a still life painting from an Ikea rug expanded into a complete vignette, capturing the process of hand-rendering the image.

The proceeds from the DX Auktion will be used to fund the Design Exchange’s youth education initiatives and the preservation of Canadian Design.

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