The ROBIN multimedia shelf was part of a series of furniture that also included a TV bench, a bookcase, wall shelving and a desk. It entered the range in 1997 and quickly became a big seller, as CDs were still ‘in’ and would remain so for several years.
Initially the successful ROBIN was the result of a failed experiment. At the end of the 1990s, IKEA had started experimenting with dyed particleboard. The idea came from Giorgi Nocievski, known as ‘The Inventor’ due to his ingenuity. The particles for the board were mixed with pigment, adding colour to the furniture without having to paint them. Design sister and brother Marianne Hagberg and Knut Hagberg fell in love with the idea and designed a whole series of furniture made from dyed particleboard with birch-coloured edging. Unfortunately, it turned out that the technique was not suitable for mass production. But the series that included the ROBIN multimedia shelf was too good to give up on. It proved better to make it from foiled particleboard with birch-coloured edging.
ROBIN remained in the IKEA catalogue for five years, but as CDs became a thing of the past, so too did the shelf in the mid-noughties.