“Democratic Design is the foundation of all IKEA products. It is the IKEA way of designing products that offer good function, form and quality, while also securing sustainability and low prices. We want visitors to understand that the product development process is influenced by a several of demands to create a true ‘IKEA product’,” says Anna Sandberg Falk, curator at IKEA Museum.
The new exhibition takes visitors on an interactive journey through the different dimensions of what IKEA calls Democratic Design. They have the opportunity to elaborate and explore various design challenges in life at home, and to find out how product development on the factory floor can make a difference.
The youngest visitors can let their imaginations flow with the treasure hunt SAGOSKATT, and anyone who is curious can see behind the scenes of IKEA product development.
The design process for IKEA products always begins with a broad, in-depth understanding of how people around the world live – and how activities around the home create needs for home furnishing products.
IKEA meets these needs with products that are priced so low that as many people as possible can afford them. Creating low prices relies on the clever use of materials and resources, more efficient production methods, and using cost consciousness to reduce costs throughout the entire value chain.
The intention has been to approach quite a deep and complex subject – design and the product development process at IKEA – in a straightforward, easily accessible way, and to create a destination where people of all ages can come together to experience, participate, learn and have fun.
“We hope that the exhibition will provide a deeper understanding of the design process at IKEA, and also spark conversations and provoke thoughts around design in general. What is great design today? Could design be great if only a few people had access to it? Maybe, but it’s not very inclusive, and a sustainable world will only be a reality when the many people can afford it,” says Mats Nilsson, curator of the exhibition.
The Democratic Design exhibition opens on 29 April and will be part of the main permanent exhibition at IKEA Museum in Älmhult, Sweden.