An easy-to-carry innovator
It's hard not to like a sofa. After all what other furniture can you sit, snack, snooze or just hang out on through a rainy afternoon? Of course, some trouble can arise if you have a very small space or have to move the sofa.
Luckily the KNOPPARP sofa can help out on both counts. But its helpfulness doesn't stop there. You see it's also one of the most affordable sofas we've ever made, a challenge that had its design team completely rethink how to make a sofa (as well as take a little inspiration from a trampoline).
Cutting costs through design
All IKEA products have affordability as one of the key parts of their design, but we create certain products from the beginning to be especially so. We call them "breath-taking items" or BTIs, and they're designed to have the lowest price on the market for a particular type of product — like a sofa.
"We'd tried to make a BTI sofa before," KNOPPARP developer Jerry Svensson explains."And had never got the price to where we wanted it, so we knew that with KNOPPARP we'd have to try something completely different."
The first part was determining where the money is normally spent when making a sofa.
"When you break down your typical sofa," Jerry says, "the biggest expenses come in three parts; the wood needed to make a frame, the fixtures you need to put the sofa together, and the foam to make it comfortable."
A jump in the right direction
Walking home one day, KNOPPARP engineer Gerd Rodhe pondered the sofa price dilemma. Pausing for a moment next to his house, he could see his neighbour's kids stretched out relaxing on a trampoline. The more he thought about it, the more he realised that using a fabric stretched between a metal frame would be a good way to make a comfortable seat without using expensive materials.
Jerry picks up the story.
"Soon after that we started breaking down what we needed to make a sofa without adding a high cost to the final price." he says. "And we landed on using a metal frame, the trampoline-like seat, and to cut down on foam we developed a fabric cover that's quilted for comfort."
With designer Nike Karlsson, the team also took into account the expense of fixtures by swapping most of the screws for metal parts that can click together making the sofa easy to assemble once you've brought it home.
Light enough to take on the bus
Another goal was that KNOPPARP would be light enough that you could take it home on the bus.
"When we started we said 'wouldn't it be nice if we could fit a KNOPPARP flat pack into an IKEA shopping bag?'" Jerry says, "And it became almost like a competition to work out different ways to divide it so the packaging became smaller.
And while fitting inside a shopping bag turned out to be slightly too ambitious, the final version ended up a little over a metre long and weighing a carry-friendly 16 kg.
Jerry's proudest moment with KNOPPARP though is its sustainability.
"By being really selective with the materials we used, KNOPPARP is almost completely recyclable, making it a real innovator for more sustainable sofas in the future."