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.
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 1995 brochure
Browse the catalogue for the very first IKEA PS collection, launched in 1995 in Milan, under the theme of Democratic Design. The collection represented a renewal of the Scandinavian design tradition, and the launch was a huge success.
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.
STOCKHOLM 1985 brochure
Browse the brochure for the very first IKEA STOCKHOLM collection from 1985, named “New classics”. In it, the furniture is photographed in a beautiful, manor house-like setting, in line with the ambition to offer new modern and affordable classics.
STOCKHOLM 1990 brochure
Five years after the first IKEA STOCKHOLM collection, a broader, updated collection came along: “More beautiful everyday”, which also included a coordinated textile and wallpaper collection, as well as glasses, crockery and cutlery. A further two designers, Ehlén Johansson and Agneta Svensk, now worked on the collection, which was still characterised by the classic Scandinavian theme with cautious continental influences.
STOCKHOLM 1996 brochure
Browse the folder for the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection 1996, “Lasting beauty”. More designers had now become involved, and took inspiration from Scandinavian ideals, neat shapes and light Nordic wood. All parts of the products in the collection were of high quality in design, materials and attention to detail.
STOCKHOLM 2006 brochure
Super materials, but far from super expensive. Browse the brochure for the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection 2006, with innovative design in super quality. This collection was distinguished by an innovative profile rather than its adherence to traditions. Textile and glass with strong accent colours in pink, purple, red and green contrasted with furniture in dark oak. In the meeting between leather, cowhide, velvet and mohair was a bolder attitude than in previous collections.
STOCKHOLM 2008 brochure
Browse the brochure for the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection 2008 that was primarily an update of the collection from 2006. The textiles were given new colour constellations and were complemented by rugs in graphic patterns, and richly patterned fabrics sold by the metre, as well as boldly colourful glassware.
STOCKHOLM 2013 brochure
Browse the brochure for the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection 2013, named “With an eye for detail”. This was a broader collection than previous ones, with several strong individual parts that were easy to combine with the furniture and objects already in a home. The collection was made with particular sensitivity and attention to fine detail, and only the finest materials were used, from the inside out.
STOCKHOLM 2017 brochure
Browse the brochure for the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection 2017, “The beauty of doing things at just the right pace”. This collection contained as many as 47 parts, made to mix and match with the customer’s existing home interiors. Natural, tactile materials like rattan and hand-blown glass reflected the collection’s most important sources of inspiration: the light and nature of Sweden.
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.