Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

IKEA’s latest collaborations are sparkling with star power. In the past year alone, the flat-pack furniture giant has worked with the likes of British industrial designer Tom Dixon, LA-based fashion designer Chris Stamp and fashion activist Bea Åkerlund. And yesterday, IKEA announced six brand new collaborations at its annual Democratic Design Days event in Älmhult, Sweden.

Delving into the world of sport, IKEA has teamed up with adidas to help consumers create healthy habits at home. “The partnership will bring together designers from both companies to exchange knowledge, insights and ideas to imagine ways to make working out at home easier,” reads a press release published to IKEA’s website.

IKEA has also partnered with the LEGO Group to encourage children’s creativity through play. Acknowledging that playtime can be messy, the collaboration will focus on “[making] the whole home a better functioning and more fun place.” The aim is to promote more playtime, while helping parents maintain their living spaces (and their sanity).

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Fans of singer, songwriter, model and actress, Solange Knowles, will be waiting with bated breath for the release of IKEA’s upcoming collaboration with Saint Heron. Founded by Knowles in 2013, Saint Heron is “a multidisciplinary cultural hub with a focus on ‘building the community that we wish to see exist’ through music, visual art, and performance art mediums.” Together, IKEA and Saint Heron will “[explore] architectural and interior design objects with multifunctional use.”

IKEA has already pledged to source all their wood from sustainable sources and cut out single-use plastics by 2020, but now the retailer is joining forces with social business Little Sun to develop “a series of sustainable off-the-grid tools for everyday life.” The partnership seeks to improve the lives of the more than one billion people currently living without access to electricity around the world.

According to market intelligence firm Newzoo, the global gaming industry is worth an estimated $137.9 billion — and that figure is expected to grow to $180.1 billion by 2021. Spotting a gap in the market for affordable, ergonomic gaming furniture, IKEA has partnered with UNYQ, a 3D printed medical wearables manufacturer, and Area Academy, an education e-sport company, to discover “how home furnishing combined with new technology could improve gaming and life around it.”

Lastly, award-winning industrial designer Stefan Diez will be collaborating with IKEA to design a better, more accessible workspace. Using their own employees as guinea pigs, the duo’s creations will be prototyped at the IKEA Democratic Design Centre in Älmhult beginning in 2019. Expect to see innovative products geared towards “companies that are constantly changing.”

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