SVÄRTAN is a collection which is the result of a collaboration with the Swedish textile designer Martin Bergström and Indian fashion students. Using only black, white and shades of grey, SVÄRTAN invites us to explore a side of India that goes beyond the vivid colours usually associated with this striking country.
WELCOME TO ANOTHER INDIA
IKEA is launching SVÄRTAN – a collection which is the result of collaboration with Swedish textile designer Martin Bergström and Indian fashion students. Using only black, white and shades of grey, SVÄRTAN invites us to explore a side of India that goes beyond the vivid colours usually associated with this striking country.
PATTERNS INSPIRED FROM URBAN LANDSCAPES
Consisting of textiles, paper items, glassware, ceramics and metal objects, inspiration for SVÄRTAN has been drawn from inner-city environments of India. The collection is full of subtle textures and abstract patterns taken from objects that are usually overlooked, encouraging us to see beauty in the seemingly mundane.
“My idea was to create a modern interpretation of India and its heritage, a country with designs that are perceived in the West as colourful, golden and shiny,” says Martin Bergström.
IKEA IN COLLABORATION WITH MARTIN BERGSTRÖM
Swedish fashion and textile designer Martin Bergström has been working in the fields of fashion, art and design for over a decade. Known for his bold and avant-garde designs, he uses everything from ink stains to forgotten handicraft techniques to bring his ideas to life.
“WHEN I CAME TO INDIA, I SAW THE AMAZING PATINA OF SURFACES, TEXTURES OF THE WALLS, PATTERNS CREATED BY THE MONSOON RAINS” Martin Bergström
ALWAYS A TOUCH OF THE HUMAN HAND
The entire SVÄRTAN collection has been produced in India and uses many traditional techniques together with natural materials, while the final production is more industrial in nature. This has given each item a handmade look that pairs well with its design.
With so many different materials and objects in play, it is the black, grey and white designs that keep the collection together; where patterns are woven, printed or appear as textures.
IKEA LOOKS TO THE DESIGN FUTURE OF INDIA
To create an image of what contemporary India looks like, 25 students from NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) in New Delhi were invited to a workshop with Martin Bergström. The students used inspiration coming from unexpected places; patterns in surfaces and distressed walls, from dangling cables hanging over the streets, and then made imprints or drawings of them. The goal was to strike a balance between the organic and the abstract, to find poetry in things that some people may overlook.
“WE MADE OVER 2000 DRAWINGS IN THE WORKSHOP, WHILE IN THE FINAL COLLECTION THERE ARE AROUND 15 PATTERNS.”
“When I came to India, the first thing I noticed was the light. But then I started seeing other things. I saw the beauty beyond the obvious: the amazing patina of surfaces, the textures of walls, patterns created by the monsoon rains.” - Martin Bergström
With their angular, slightly unpredictable look, these mouth-blown glassware pieces are a good example of bergström’s perfectly imperfect designs.
The metal tray table is easy to fold away and comes with a pattern you’ll want to reach out and touch.
A metal bowl adds weight and a wooden plate gives a softness – the materials used in the svärtan collection are made to complement and balance each other.
The metal items come with a hole in them - since that is how they are hung up in India when the paint needs to dry.
Martin decided to put a replica of his nose ring into the hole and made it part of the design itself.
Available in two sizes and with a slightly robust and rugged quality to them, these wooden side tables can just as well be used as stools.
“We found an old Indian bowl that martin re-shaped with his own hands and then turned into a mould for production.” - Karin Gustavsson, creative leader at IKEA
To give them a sturdiness you can both see and feel, the bowl and candleholder are made of coated aluminum.
Textiles are a big part of india’s heritage, which is why they’re highly present in the svärtan collection.
Patterned or solid black – the thin, soft, wool throws are made to comfort and come in two sizes.
Made of 100% cotton, the svärtan metre fabrics are both sheer and reversible.
Svärtan cushion covers come in five different patterns and two sizes.
These flatwoven rugs ensure no floor looks plain and are available in two different sizes.
Svärtan sketchbooks contain thick paper and are produced by a manufacturer that’s been in business for 300 years.
Svärtan can literally be admired as works of art thanks to posters that come in two sizes and four different prints.