Dezeen Magazine

IKEA and Tom Dixon announce urban farming collection

IKEA has teamed up with British designer Tom Dixon to launch an urban farming project that encourages city-dwellers to grow food locally.

Dixon and the homeware brand are developing a series of gardening products and tools that can be used by individuals in cities to grow their own food and medicinal plants at home, available in IKEA stores globally in 2021.

Collaboration aims to encourage growing food at home

The project aims to motivate and enable a healthier and sustainable lifestyle for people in cities by making "homes the new farmland".

It also aims to build awareness of where food comes from and show the ways in which growing produce can be introduced into the home. "Food is a crucial part of everyday life, and IKEA wants to inspire and enable a healthier and more sustainable life," said IKEA.

IKEA and Tom Dixon announce urban farming collection
Renders of the two planned levels at the Tom Dixon and IKEA RHS Chelsea Flower Show installation in May 2019

"If more greens were to be grown in homes, it would have a positive impact on the planet with fewer transports, lower water usage and less food waste."

Presentation at Chelsea Flower Show will demonstrate possibilities

An experimental model for growing plants in urban environments will be presented in May 2019 at the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show in Chelsea in London.

It will feature a garden that is divided into two levels. The base garden will include a "horticultural laboratory" where hydroponic technology will be used to grow "hyper-natural" plants.

The raised level – described as a "botanical oasis" – will have a canopy-like ecosystem of trees and plants chosen for their medicinal, health and environmental properties.

The installation aims to explore the difference between natural and technology-driven approaches to farming. "Gardening is unique in its universal appeal and its transformational power," said Dixon.

"Although we are not traditional garden designers, we think we can demonstrate ways that anybody could make a small difference and broadcast not only the beauty but also the functional importance of horticulture through both traditional knowledge and the latest in growing innovation," he explained.

IKEA builds on previous urban gardening products

This is not the first time IKEA has branched into urban farming products. In 2016, the Swedish brand launched an indoor gardening product, intended to bring home hydroponics to a larger market.

"For IKEA, this collaboration is about challenging the way society looks at growing in general and addressing that it’s both possible and rewarding to have a place to grow your own plants in the city," said James Futcher, creative leader at IKEA Range and Supply.

"Food is key to humanity and design can support with better solutions. Because at the end of the day we need people to feel inspired to grow and harvest their own edibles within their homes and communities."

IKEA and Tom Dixon's previous project together was a bed that launched earlier this year with a distinctive furry cover and modular elements that allowed customers to modify the product for their own needs.