Piet Hein Eek unveils first collection with IKEA

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Piet Hein Eek unveils first collection with IKEA

Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek has revealed the first products from his ongoing collaboration with IKEA – a collection of furniture and homewares based on traditional Indonesian and Vietnamese crafts.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
The Jassa collection is the first range of products from an ongoing collaboration between Piet Hein Eek and IKEA

Titled Jassa, the IKEA range features natural fibres and batik-inspired prints throughout its seating, basketry, pendant lighting, ceramics and textiles.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
Natural fibres and batik-inspired prints are used in baskets and textiles based on traditional Indonesian crafts

The limited-edition range will launch in March 2017 and is the first of several product lines promised from the partnership between the Dutch designer and the Swedish furniture giant.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
Pendant lighting made from rattan and bamboo features in the Jassa collection

Incorporating woven rattan, seagrass and water hyacinth alongside bent bamboo, the items represent a fusion of handmade aesthetics and mass-production techniques.

IKEA's design team spent time learning textile printing techniques in Indonesia and basket weaving in Vietnam, as well as traditional bamboo-bending.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
Woven rattan, seagrass and water hyacinth are used alongside bamboo to create different textures for baskets and accessories

"Designing for IKEA is almost the opposite of what I normally do," Eek said. "Luckily, the rational approach in both processes, both for small and large quantities, are the same – one has to think about efficiency in every aspect."

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
A prototype of a chair for the Jassa collection with a woven seat and bound bamboo frame

"All of a sudden it's possible to make products with the same mentality and attitude, for a bigger audience," said Eek.

Recent projects from Eek have included cuboid ceramic lamps with a simple metal switch and a collection of wallpapers that resemble architectural materials such as marble, brick and wood for manufacturer NLXL.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
A prototype of a bamboo chair designed by Piet Hein Eek and IKEA as part of the collaboration

"It was Piet's focus on working efficiently with materials, production techniques and craft that made us realise the common ground we work on when designing products," said Karin Gustavsson, creative leader at IKEA.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
Eek had to work in a way that was "almost the opposite of what I normally do" to create products that could be mass-manufactured by IKEA

Eek is not employed by IKEA but has been asked to provide ideas for products across the company's range, which will result in a string of collections to be launched over the next few years.

Last year, the Swedish furniture giant launched a collection by British designer Ilse Crawford that showcased natural fibres.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
IKEA's design team spent time learning traditional techniques and reinterpreting them to create the pieces

The company most recently announced collaborations with Danish brand Hay and British designer Tom Dixon, one of the results of which was a reinterpretation of IKEA's iconic blue bag.

Ikea Jassa collection with Piet Hein Eek
Bamboo is traditionally bent to create furniture by soaking it and using a former to hold the material in shape while it dries

IKEA's design manager Marcus Engman previously spoke to Dezeen about how the company is using design to overhaul its reputation for "doing cheap stuff".

"I want to bring the surprise back to IKEA," he said. "We are putting a bigger emphasis on design."