Booming stock markets, shoulder pads and postmodern design. The 1980s were about equal parts decadence and optimism. For IKEA it was a challenging decade, with both expansion and a quest for an identity. Could steel wire furniture be part of the answer?
Explore two stories about Children’s IKEA. Children and families with children have always been central to IKEA. But it was in the 1990s that things really took off. Find out about the early beginnings, how it works today, and what IKEA puts into making a range for the most important people in the world.
IKEA is, at its core, collaborative. Be it suppliers or consumers, everyone is invited to join in. Collaboration happens when customers assemble furniture at home, and when creatives like Virgil Abloh and Olafur Eliason develop new products together with IKEA. This film takes a deep dive into the creative process of collaboration, and how IKEA strives to find the right people to seek out the right solutions to everyday challenges.
What is Democratic Design? Is it a road map for product developers, or a communicative tool that brings great ideas to the many people? In true IKEA style, it is of course both. Here, we explore the roots and application of the Democratic Design principle and its five pillars.
Design by IKEA of Sweden
Ideas for IKEA products are always inspired by needs and dreams in people’s lives at home. In this film, two generations of IKEA people tell the story of working towards fulfilling those aspirations. It’s about finding the best and most cost-effective solution, guided by all the different dimensions of Democratic Design – form, function, quality, sustainability, and low price.
IKEA 365+ series
Following the 1980s’ love of luxury and extravagance, the 1990s began with a recession. For IKEA, this meant an increased interest in life’s many everydays. Spectacular design was replaced by a more restrained look, and a group of designers were brought in to create a series of simple basic products for the kitchen, to be used all 365 days of the year.
IKEA PS collection
In the early 1990s, IKEA began a process to strengthen its identity as a design company. IKEA wanted to get back to its roots and manifest the aesthetic of Scandinavian simplicity. The result was IKEA PS, a recurring collection of innovative design at low prices.
Ingvar in Milan
Ingvar Kamprad started to explore new supplier markets around the world for IKEA at an early stage. In 1960 he went to Milan for the first time to visit the big Triennale exposition.
The softly shaped sofa KLIPPAN is an eternal classic. First presented in the 1980 IKEA catalogue, it has since made an annual comeback in hundreds of different covers. But why is it so popular? One reason is that KLIPPAN was born out of necessity.
Meet the designers
Are you curious about what it’s like to work as a designer for IKEA? Sketching cutlery one day, and a big sofa or maybe a whole kitchen the next? Meet Marcus Arvonen, Sarah Fager, Mikael Axelsson and Akanksha Deo – democratic designers on a mission to make life at home a little better. By making small changes they can have a big impact.
More than a low price
IKEA is a balancing act between seemingly conflicting ambitions. Sales machine or inspiration? Business or people? For IKEA, it’s never been about choosing one or the other, it’s always both. Ingvar Kamprad’s original idea to offer products with both a low price and good quality has grown into a strong culture and identity. It is still a driving force at IKEA today.
Small space living
In the age of urbanisation, more and more people are living in less and less space. IKEA has been working with small space living for a long time, but now it’s more important than ever. Explore how IKEA works to create a better life at home for people living in small spaces. Also, find out how a furniture retailer thinks around doing the most with the least.
In the 1980s, IKEA faced an interesting challenge: to satisfy its loyal customers’ request for a bit of bourgeoisie. What could the company offer all those people who had grown out of their low pine sofa, taken down their pop and protest posters, and moved their IVAR shelves into the garage? They were looking for comfort and elegance, and Ingvar Kamprad came up with the solution: a ‘best of IKEA collection’. It was time for STOCKHOLM.
The Wedge Dowel
Innovation is one of the most, or maybe the most important part of a company’s survival. The guts to question what everyone else happily agrees on is a must. And while doing that, you need to be pretty stubborn. As in this case. Ten years after the idea first came to mind, it is now considered by many to be one of the cleverest things IKEA ever came up with – the wedge dowel. A wooden peg that wedges into a milled hole.