The man, the myth, legend, Ingvar Kamprad has passed away. We connect him to these praising words because he certainly has lived up to them during his lifetime. Only seventeen years old he started what today is one of the worlds most successful companies, starting from the deep forests of Småland. For swedes he has been a national icon, and IKEA has been his church. In a lot of ways Ingvar has through IKEA represented parts of what we would consider is utterly Swedish - lagom, simple, familiar and democratic. The latter being a huge reason to IKEA's success. Democratising design furniture to the broad mass, making a decorated home accessible to the every day person.
As a design agency in Sweden we have of course our own experiences from IKEA. After asking around at the office we noticed that a lot of memories are connected to IKEA designs. Some better than others of course. We have now collected some of our staff favourites - from a design, and completely human, point of view.
This shelf really lets the material speak for itself, there are endless possibilites in what it can be used for, and it helps any messy person to organize its home. Our designer Kajsa Bobjer uses this for both her wine and her wardrobe. IVAR has been around since 1968, and was originally found in a warehouse of old furniture that Ingvar collected for inspiration. Lennart Ekmark who then worked at IKEA saw the potential in the simple design and material. He brought it in to the catalogue 1970, and it has stayed there ever since.
What did we do before we had these little things? They really do make life a lot less sticky, and the content of our freezers are looking a lot more colourful.
It's important not to forget about IKEA's long history, and that we can find design classics all the way back in the swinging sixtees. These chairs were designed by danish Kai Kristiansen, and are now sold for a much higher price than the original at online auktions.
Recognise this fellow? It really is a classic, with its easy usage and simple design. Our graphic designer Olivia remembers this from her childhood when it was used as a divider for the bedroom she shared with her sister. Product designer Anita Hedbratt has used it both horisontally and verticallly, using both boxes and the open shelves.
Although IKEA has many great qualities, it's important to remember the massive carbon footprint they leave behind. Therefore we really appreciate that IKEA also take the environment seriously and sometimes design products that have a deeper respect for the planet and its people.
This awardwinning collection EFTERTANKE is a collaboration with social entrepeneurs in Thailand, as a way to create new jobs and restore the land. The pottery is handmade, using local materials and traditional methods.