While in Älmhult, Sweden last year we had the chance to view IKEA's PS 2017 collection (in prototype versions) and come February the collection will be in stores. But they recently showed off the actual product recently and one that stood out to us was their 3D-knitted armchair. We interviewed Product Developer, James Futcher who explained the process.
"This year's PS collection 2017 is all about comfort and it's about exploring what comfort is because today comfort is very static, thick and bulky, how can we look at defining comfort in a different way. So that's one of the challenges for the PS collection. But also to make a collection that is young, funky, it has an attitude for the new young, many that are moving into the cities. So the big starting point for the collection, to really make sure we work with democratic design, was to have workshops around comfort and solving life at home for living in small spaces and to really brainstorm those ideas. But before the designers could put pen to paper we actually took them all to factories and suppliers to understand materials and techniques so then we could really develop in the IKEA way and that's when we're best on the factory floor, to really understand material and techniques so that we can design products that will solve people's needs at home, but also products that we can make."Here's a picture of the prototype we first were introduced to:
"One of the products we've been working on, is a quite interesting chair. We decided to work with a lot of known materials that we can understand and work with, metal, wood and textiles but here we were presented with a technique called "3D knitting" which you see a lot on flyknit (Nike) trainers, and it's a way of knitting a frame for a chair without any stitching, very lightweight, very thin and if you sit on it, it's very comfy."
We're loving the lightweight semi-translucent feel to it. Great for an office or casual space.