What do you do if you are told to do the impossible? Say no? Well, in this particular case it wasn’t an option for Paulina Pajak. She is a Product Developer in the Lighting department, which develops the global IKEA product range. The person looking for the impossible was IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who walked into the department and said: “We’re going to sell LED bulbs for less than one euro.”
A dinner conversation about IKEA Food
Three IKEA Food veterans meet over hot dogs, plant balls and other yummy IKEA classics. Jan Kjellman, Miriam Swärdh and Michael La Cour talk about the past, present and future – sharing stories about everything from the first IKEA restaurant in 1960, to the Swedish food market and food becoming an integral part of the IKEA identity.
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.
The first edition of ikéa-nytt, IKEA News, came out in spring 1948. It was a simple mail order catalogue, primarily targeting retailers, who were promised good quality at low prices. All the texts were written by Ingvar Kamprad himself, and at the time he mainly sold different kinds and models of pens, under the heading ‘Pen sensation’. Watches and nylon stockings were also sold in ikéa-nytt, but no furniture. But that was soon to change.
Made of wood
The story of IKEA is the story of wooden materials. And the story of wood is also a story about gaining the advantage. Find out how IKEA went from traditional hardwood furniture, to utilising everything from pine to bamboo and recycled wood. Always in close collaboration with suppliers and designers, in order to make the most from the least.
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.
In September 1964, a sensational article was published in a Swedish interior design magazine, claiming that a 33 kronor (EUR 3.30) chair from IKEA was better than a virtually identical chair that cost five times as much. IKEA was delighted, but the rest of the furniture industry was furious and threatened to boycott the magazine.
The world’s biggest restaurant
When Ingvar Kamprad opened the doors on his first furniture showroom in Älmhult back in 1953, he wanted to offer visitors coffee and a biscuit – a new phenomenon in the thrifty county of Småland back then. And it was a huge success. The queues were long, and when the biscuits started running out there was something of a panic.