Icelanders Against Ikea
It looks as though (and please correct us if, a) you speak Íslensku, or b) you're Ragnar) a few enterprising icelanders got together to solve that age old question constantly asked, and re-asked by designers: "Why can't Ikea be cheap and unique at the same time?".
From the beginning, Ikea has been the high/low design store that everyone hates under their breath, but still shops at because it's "better than Walmart" (We'd like to say we're free of blame, but right now, we're within 15 feet of 6 Ikea items. Designer's salary. What can you do.) In any case, while the store has been unbelievably successful, it's practices have earned it a fair share of expose sites and rants. The charge is often that Ikea makes the idea of design cheap and disposable, and that it promotes a "the same old individuality as everyone else".
So, in an effort to fight back against the lack of persona inherent in Ikea's pieces, and their inevitable decline in usefulness as their cheaper materials wear out, The Democratic Design Show (translated, and not to well. Notice how cuddle shows up way too much. Original link is here) these guys put together explores some of the modifications that can be made to the same old Ikea stuff to make it not so same old.
A couple of the things, like the Defrosta stool, which "melts" under the weight of a person, the melted tableware sculpture and the inverted stool lamp are more like protest art than real new viable designs. But the needlepoint stool is definitely an inspired idea. This is a really simple, great way for a store like Ikea--who realistically can't make every table and chair unique--to add a lot of individuality, and a lot of quality-value to a product that would normally be seen mostly as just another stool.
We also loved the work they did by re-connecting parts of the watering cans with rivets. Recently Guerilla re-design has become pretty popular, as is evidenced by magazines like Ready Made. This rivet technique produces a highly finished product, and also a really unique look. It will be interesting if other re-designers pick up on this concept. If any of you do, we'd love to see it. Great job Ragnar and team, thanks for the tip.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team