Ikea and H&M are launching a new marketplace and mentorship program, with an open call for all creative ideas
The new joint venture, Atelier100, marks a major design industry collaboration – an unmissable opportunity for creatives in London.
- It's Nice That
- 13 April 2022
Two titans of the design, style and homeware marketplace, Ingka Group, the largest Ikea franchisee, and H&M, have joined forces for a new creative venture: Atelier100. While Atelier100 will soon open a new London-based marketplace, for now, it is excitingly launching as a new incubator programme for creatives.
To kickstart this, Atelier100 are calling on London-based designers and artists to submit ideas for potential products for both a new store, which will open in May at Livat Hammersmith, and for an ongoing mentorship programme. From submissions entered, 20 winning creators will be offered mentorship and funding to help develop their proposals into businesses. With the aim to nurture ideas and serve the creative community behind them, Atelier100 is a relatively unique open call; here’s why.
Aware of the difficulties inherent with taking a product to market as a solo venture, H&M and Ingka Group, interestingly, want to function similarly to a record label, but for creative concepts. For an emerging creator, the upsides to this are clear; creating a product or building a business from scratch can be daunting, but also a rudderless experience. Even beyond production considerations, handling finances, marketing, and legal workloads for the first time without external support is a tall order. Where Atelier100 steps in, is by serving as a flexible support system. Depending on each project’s individual needs, the programme might focus on mentorship, community support, or funding. And, in each instance, guidance will be offered on everything from packaging to PR.
While there are obvious benefits to a collaboration with the two brands, including exposure to potential buyers, education is even more central to the venture. As the groups are interested in exploring how to support creatives in establishing their own economically sustainable businesses, cultivating skill sets is a central part of the programme. In turn, Atelier100 aims to offer very concrete guidance on the daily problems that emerging product creators may face. From buying a domain name to applying for a construction licence, the incubator is about more than cultivating creative ideas – it’s about how to turn these ideas into a business. It also offers a welcome change to an unyielding world of start-up businesses; Atelier100 aims to foster a support network where there is no such thing as asking “stupid” questions.
When it comes to submissions, H&M and Ingka Group are welcoming diverse ideas. From an idea for a magazine to a poster and homeware products, Atelier100 is searching for anyone with an idea for a product, spanning the home, fashion, lifestyle, and culture categories. The programme hopes to help realise both tech products and more crafted production methods, although an emphasis will be placed on sustainability, as participants will be creating works within guidelines for long-lasting products that are impervious to passing trends.
London, and the melting point of creativity housed in the city, is another focal point. Currently welcoming submissions from creatives within a 100-kilometre radius of London, Atelier100 states creative briefs should also start with locals in mind. Under the motto “Made in London, for Londoners and by Londoners”, the incubator programme hopes to cultivate creative ideas which will serve this purpose.
Leaving aspiring Atelier100 creatives with some parting words of advice, the team emphasises the importance of not overthinking submissions – “Just come as you are” – while adding: “Don’t leave it for the last minute! We are really open to all those ideas one might have, no matter if they have worked on something similar or not. It’s the vision, the energy, the curiosity we are looking for.”
The latest venture from the two industry leads signals a changing marketplace, where creatives can go from idea to in-store feedback in a holistic project; Atelier100 is led by Marcus Engman, chief creative officer at Ingka Group, and Camilla Henriksson, global brand innovation manager at H&M. For a concept centring creativity, Atelier100 is working with similarly creative organisations Bibliotheque Design on branding, PLAID on store interior design, Ma-tt-er on database research and Made By On for digital executions, and Ama on media and communication, offering a fascinating glimpse into what the new store, and its possible products, might hold.
Creatives can apply to the programme via the Atelier100 site; funds of £1,000 up to £10,000 are available for participants to bring their concept to life. The deadline for submissions is 24 April.
GalleryBibliothèque Design: Atelier100 (Copyright © H&M / Ingka Group, 2022)
Sponsored by Atelier100
H&M Group and Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, have joined forces to launch a unique new incubator programme.
Creatives and makers living in a 100km radius of London are invited to apply for their place on the Atelier100 programme, to help grow their businesses through mentorship and create commercially viable products at the new store which will open in Livat Hammersmith this May.
Bibliothèque Design: Atelier100 (Copyright © H&M / Ingka Group, 2022)