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2016 IKEA drawing competition

WRITER: MICHELE BIANCHI

Imagine a world where horses are pink, two-headed birds are rainbow-coloured and the sun greets you with open arms and a smile. This fantastical place lives in the collective minds of children around the world. Over 52,000 tiny designers used their creativity and imagination to take part in the second annual IKEA Soft Toy Drawing Competition.

A girl holding a green soft toy dinosaur.

Out of the thousands of entries, only 10 were chosen during the closing of the competition in January 2016. The winning pieces coming from all around the world: Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Turkey and Canada.

6-year old Lukás, a winner from Czech Republic, tells IKEA about his drawing - a two-headed bird: “I wanted to draw a rocket, but right before the workshop I changed my mind and instead started drawing a twin-bird. It was a sudden idea,” he says and follows up with, “His name is Dvojptácek.”

Over 52 000 tiny designers used their creativtiy and imagination to take part in this year’s IKEA Soft Toy Drawing Competition.

A red bacterium/monster soft toy with yellow teeth and eyes on the top of its head, and a green dinosaur.

For the IKEA team in Älmhult, Sweden, choosing this year’s winners was fun, but certainly not easy.

“We put all the drawings on the walls and our team had the fun, yet difficult, task of choosing the top ten. It was truly a fun and inspiring day!” says Carin Wengelin from Children’s IKEA at IKEA of Sweden.

Other IKEA colleagues agreed: “There are so many creators out there,” says Bodil Fritjofsson, Product Developer in Children’s IKEA. “The world will not lack potential future artists and designers. Some of the drawings are real pieces of art!”

“We had a few criteria to steer us this time around,” says Carin. “First the winning drawings had to be truly unique. It also has to be possible to construct and produce soft toys that are just as safe and live up the same quality demands as all our other soft toys.”

"The world will not lack potential future artists and designers. Some of the drawings are real pieces of art!"

€88 000 000

Since 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has raised nearly €88 million, supported 100 projects in 46 countries and helped more than 12 million children living in poverty receive a better education.

12 000 000
children in 46 countries

 

A girl holding a red bacterium/monster soft toy with yellow teeth.
A girl holding a yellow soft toy sun.

The winning designs will now go on to become a special limited Soft Toy collection, launched in IKEA stores worldwide as part of the Let’s Play for Change campaign, focusing on children’s rights to play in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. For every children’s book and toy sold during the campaign period, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 supporting children’s right to play and develop.

With the support of IKEA co-workers and customers, last year’s campaign raised €11.1 million alone, for a grand total of €88 million throughout the entire partnership. And, thanks to the creative minds of the many young artists, this year more children will have toys to put a smiles on their faces, or help them drift off to sleep — all while supporting children around the world.

Building on the success of the Soft Toys for Education campaign, a new campaign, Let’s Play for Change, will launch in IKEA stores during end of 2016. The Soft Toys Drawing Competition has come to an end with a final beautiful collection.

A banner with a sun soft toy

And some more highlights…