Tom Dixon Ecosystem Collaboration With IKEA

Dixon's collaboration with IKEA was known as "top secret" when it was announced during the Swedish brand's Democratic Design Day in June last year.

But Dixon elaborated on this at a press conference in Milan, saying he was building a modular furniture system with a high-quality base component.

Through various plug-ins, it could be adapted from a bed into a sofa or other item of furniture as the needs and finances of its users change.

"Rather than a bed that you buy for a short period of time, it's a sort of platform for living that can evolve into a sofa or into a workstation, according to plug-ins that you put on top," Dixon said.
"Very much like the iPhone, I'm hoping to encourage a whole ecosystem of apps that you stick on top of this basic platform of the bed."

To build this structure Dixon has teamed up with three design schools as well as unnamed companies.

"We've got a project with three universities — the Royal College, Parsons in New York and Japan – so there's 75 very fine minds working on it right now with actually much more superior ideas to the ones I came up with in the first place," he said.

"The objective is very much that IKEA take on the distribution and the manufacturing of this thing, and they're selling more of the platform because other people are creating an ecosystem around it. There is already a couple of companies on top of my own that are customising this object, so watch this space."

The finished product of Dixon and IKEA's collaboration will launch in August of 2017. Before that, they will be shown during Milan design week, which Dixon described as the "Glastonbury of design" for young people more interested in having experiences than buying products.