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IKEA and 10-gruppen

When three young designers at IKEA join hands with the iconic design collective 10-gruppen, the result is 14 powerful patterns applied on bedding, plates, trays, rugs and meter fabric, plus more. Fusing the present and the past, every single piece proves that what was spectacular 45 years ago can be just as bold today and that it’s possible to celebrate history whilst staying super contemporary.

Patterns by Ingela Håkansson Lamm, 10-gruppen & Iina Vuorivirta, IKEA

Pattern on Left: Ingela prefers to work with clear forms which you can tell from her geometric AVSIKTLIG pattern. Pattern on Right: Iina has always been fascinated by dots and the different movements they can create – which her pattern for AVSIKTLIG is a proof of.

AVSIKTLIG collection.

Mug €4 36cl. Dots 203.565.27 Box with lid, set of 3 €12 Sizes: 15×15×15cm, 20×20×20cm and 25×25×25cm. Black/white 603.490.83 Note-book €3/each L21×W15cm. Assorted patterns/black 003.700.20

Poster €4 W61×H91cm. Assorted motifs 303.688.55 Armchair €69/each W68×D67, H80cm. Assorted colours 703.696.45 Cushion cover €17 L50×W50cm. Assorted patterns 703.613.24 Cushion €25/each L54×W54cm. Blue/white 503.614.43 Bedspread/blanket €15 W150×L240cm. Leaf/blue 003.611.91 Rug, flatwoven €125 W170×L240cm. Black/white 903.703.08

“10-gruppen has always represented a modern, youthful design. We have changed with the times and have always been in the limelight.” - Ingela Håkansson Lamm, 10-gruppen

Djungel: AVSIKTLIG Collection

Djungel, signed Carl Johan De Geer, hasn’t been in production for over four decades – it was too bold at the time – and we just love being able to bring it back.

AVSIKTLIG mug on left & quilt cover and pillowcase on the right.

Patterns by Ida Pettersson, IKEA

“Our ambition was to clean up the design swamp... we wanted to create a better world, without war, using colours, patterns and music.” - Carl Johan De Geer, co-founder 10-gruppen.

Jamaica: AVSIKTLIG Collection

Birgitta Hahn designed the classic 10-gruppen pattern Jamaica on a hot summer’s day in the Stockholm archipelago. “Both the pattern and the name came to me straight away, they were just perfect.” In AVSIKLIG the original from 1978 comes in new colours.

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Showcase 08 Jul 2017

10-gruppen and IKEA’s AVSIKTLIG Collection proves optimism is always in “good taste”

Recently, we came across the news that IKEA has announced the launch of new stores in Hyderabad and Mumbai, followed by Bangalore in the near future. While the entry of the Swedish giant is a great boost for Indian design, décor and the retail industry, after the entry of Muji (which is somewhat overpriced yet beautiful), CQ explains why Scandinavian design is not just all white, grey and light brown. There is a history of bold patterns and exhilarating graphics in Sweden, called the 10-gruppen, and they are as proud of their heritage, as they are of minimalism.

When a crisis hits the world, what do designers do? They (at least some) get optimistic. Because however cliché this might sound, there are always solutions to problems and design is about finding a solution, or a few. One such crisis was the textile crisis of the 70s which inspired a group of optimistic, somewhat radical, textile designers in Sweden to design patterns and graphics that were way ahead of their time. This group of 10 young Swedish designers was called 10-gruppen.

A recent update by IKEA peaked our interest in the brand. The Swedish design giant announced that they were planning to open retail stores in India starting with Hyderabad and Mumbai, followed by Bangalore. This prompted CQ to tell our readers why Swedish design is not just about minimalist, sleek and utilitarian things.

IKEA and 10-gruppen

When three young designers at IKEA join hands with the iconic design collective 10-gruppen, the result is 14 powerful patterns applied on bedding, plates, trays, rugs and meter fabric, plus more. Fusing the present and the past, every single piece proves that what was spectacular 45 years ago can be just as bold today and that it’s possible to celebrate history whilst staying super contemporary.

Patterns by Ingela Håkansson Lamm, 10-gruppen & Iina Vuorivirta, IKEA

Pattern on Left: Ingela prefers to work with clear forms which you can tell from her geometric AVSIKTLIG pattern. Pattern on Right: Iina has always been fascinated by dots and the different movements they can create – which her pattern for AVSIKTLIG is a proof of.

Scandinavian Design is not all minimalism

Scandinavian design brings to mind shades of white, grey, ochre and light-brown surfaces. But throughout history, the minimalist movement has existed with an underbelly of maximalism that not many designers, societies or people were ready to embrace at the time. We aren’t sure why though.

10-gruppen’s patterns and designs might not have made much sense in the 1970s despite creating an uproar, but what didn’t make sense decades ago makes complete sense now. Their work challenged the parameter of “good taste” at the time; it still overwhelms the senses and almost creates an acceleration of the heartbeat, much like the Memphis Group of the 80s did – and we will talk about them too, but in another article. Over time, 10-gruppen’s patterns have become as much a highlight of Scandinavian design history as their minimalism and functionality.

AVSIKTLIG collection.

Mug €4 36cl. Dots 203.565.27 Box with lid, set of 3 €12 Sizes: 15×15×15cm, 20×20×20cm and 25×25×25cm. Black/white 603.490.83 Note-book €3/each L21×W15cm. Assorted patterns/black 003.700.20

Poster €4 W61×H91cm. Assorted motifs 303.688.55 Armchair €69/each W68×D67, H80cm. Assorted colours 703.696.45 Cushion cover €17 L50×W50cm. Assorted patterns 703.613.24 Cushion €25/each L54×W54cm. Blue/white 503.614.43 Bedspread/blanket €15 W150×L240cm. Leaf/blue 003.611.91 Rug, flatwoven €125 W170×L240cm. Black/white 903.703.08

Speaking of it, Marcus Engmann, Design Manager of IKEA Sweden quotes, “Their [10-gruppen’s] design style has not aged a second; it’s youthful, radical and as bold today as it was in the Seventies.” Perhaps because it was futuristic. 

“Taking matters into your own hands was a sign of the times. We didn’t want to accept that there were companies and producers that didn’t believe in us. Instead, we got to work and proved ourselves that way. It was about entrepreneurship, long before the word was invented”, says Tom Hedqvist, one of the founding members of 10-gruppen.

Why are 10-gruppen significant? Because they went against “good taste”.

Not only did the designers of 10-gruppen revolutionise design, they took the whole process of production into their own hands. Control over the production process of textiles was bold at the time. It is quite commonplace today, with many new textile design startups around India too, doing the same: Taxi Fabric and Safomasi, are some of the many examples of designers also being the “production heads” of their own companies. Back then the industry wasn’t as accommodating.

“Taking matters into your own hands was a sign of the times. We didn’t want to accept that there were companies and producers that didn’t believe in us. Instead, we got to work and proved ourselves that way. It was about entrepreneurship, long before the word was invented”, says Tom Hedqvist, one of the founding members of 10-gruppen. “At the time we were quite self-absorbed, all of us, but it was a passing egocentricity. Even though we always went our own way, we soon realised how inspiring it is to do designs that actually work and that people like.”

“10-gruppen has always represented a modern, youthful design. We have changed with the times and have always been in the limelight.” - Ingela Håkansson Lamm, 10-gruppen

Djungel: AVSIKTLIG Collection

Djungel, signed Carl Johan De Geer, hasn’t been in production for over four decades – it was too bold at the time – and we just love being able to bring it back.

“The 10-gruppen members were united in their belief in the impact of textile patterns. Together they created colourful collections that were bold, loud and fun-loving in equal measures,” writes IKEA in its brochure. Up until 2015, 10-gruppen was run by three of the original designers: Birgitta Hahn, Tom Hedqvist (mentioned above) and Ingela Håkansson. But when the group decided to shut shop in 2015, the obvious question was, what would happen to the brand? 

“I suggested that we contact IKEA and then I texted Marcus Engman* to ask if he was interested. He answered yes straight away”, says Tom [Hedqvist], in his interview released by IKEA Sweden at the launch of the collection, whose initiative resulted in “IKEA now being the proud safe-keeper of a large part of the 10-gruppen pattern treasure". About the AVSIKTLIG collection, IKEA Sweden officially states, “This collection is not about nostalgia. 10-gruppen has always been progressive and curious about the future and what lies ahead.”

“Our whole idea was to spread good design to as many people as possible, that was why we used industrial printing techniques instead of hand-print. We wanted to contribute with what we were good at, in the best way we could”, says Tom.

The wildly beautiful AVSIKTLIG collection & the IKEA collaboration

The patterns are almost jungle-like, bold, uninhibited, equal parts geometric vs. organic and handcrafted vs digital. While the visual quality of the design is distinctly pop-inspired, they deliberately machine-printed their designs in order to reach the masses. “Our whole idea was to spread good design to as many people as possible, that was why we used industrial printing techniques instead of hand-print. We wanted to contribute with what we were good at, in the best way we could”, says Tom.

Brand collaborations such as this bring together the best of history and the promise of a bright future, no pun intended. The AVSIKTLIG collection not only documents what collaborations between brands can yield, but also what the collaboration between older, senior and more experienced designers and the younger generation can beautifully confluence to.

Patterns by Ida Pettersson, IKEA

“Our ambition was to clean up the design swamp... we wanted to create a better world, without war, using colours, patterns and music.” - Carl Johan De Geer, co-founder 10-gruppen.

Jamaica: AVSIKTLIG Collection

Birgitta Hahn designed the classic 10-gruppen pattern Jamaica on a hot summer’s day in the Stockholm archipelago. “Both the pattern and the name came to me straight away, they were just perfect.” In AVSIKLIG the original from 1978 comes in new colours.

Here is an inspiring excerpt from his interview with IKEA, that substantiates why design outlives the lifetime of its designers: “10-gruppen has invited many guest designers over the years. It’s how we’ve always worked”, says Tom, who was familiar with the work of the young IKEA designers Ida Pettersson, Iina Vuorivirta and Hanna Dalrot before they came onboard [to design this collection], thanks to his involvement in art and design educations in Stockholm. “It felt important to bring in a new generation. Otherwise, everyone behind the collection would be 70 plus! I’ve had a good feeling about this all along. I like that the collection includes patterns from our early years as well as more recent additions and, of course, the brand new designs. It all works really well together – and the result is truly contemporary. Hopefully, the IKEA customers will agree.”

Though not customers yet, Tom, but we agree.