Design on the factory floor
We began learning about the production of furniture 60 years ago. We had just begun to design our own furniture and needed to learn how best to match the possibilities of the supplier with the needs of the customer. Bringing the two closer together was how we would keep prices low.
Since then we’ve continued to apply these methods and to work with suppliers right on the factory floor. What we today call democratic design influences and benefits every part of IKEA - from our development facilities in Älmhult, to our suppliers around the globe, including local artisans in places like India and South East Asia. Over the years we’ve learnt that by constantly asking ourselves, “Is there a better way?”, bright ideas can come from just about anywhere, from anyone.
The ODGER chair is made to stand out. It pairs great design with sustainable innovation – and it doesn’t hide its origin. Instead the material’s mix of renewable wood and recycled plastics is allowed to make its characteristic mark on the smooth surface. ODGER was anything but easy to develop, but may be the most straightforward chair we’ve ever made – with the assembly just a couple of clicks away.
Many of us would do ourselves a big favour if we were better at getting up from our office chairs. With SKARSTA manual, height-adjustable desk it’s easy, and affordable, to alternate between sitting and standing.
We’re always trying to challenge the way traditional IKEA furniture is made. Sometimes, when we least expect it, we end up with a reinvention that redefines the space in which it lives.
Sometimes, bright design starts on a cocktail napkin. LAMPAN is the perfect example of reducing something to its minimal components in order to find the perfect form.
Working with social enterprise
Partnering with social entrepreneurs is one way IKEA is supporting real social change in parts of India, Thailand, Indonesia and even Sweden.
Working with suppliers
Our product developers and designers work with a diverse team of technicians, manufacturers and specialists – often right on the factory floor like here in Vietnam. And through IKEA Industry, a part of the IKEA Group that develops and manages production capacities, over 20,000 co-workers produce wood-based furniture and boards at 36 sites in 11 countries.
Smart distribution. smarter design.
IKEA has a history of smart, low-cost distribution dating all the way back to the 1940s when products were picked up by local milk lorries. Today, more than 50% of our products are delivered directly from suppliers to our stores. We also design products to reduce packaging and the amount of air that gets shipped. Customers benefit from lower prices, and in some cases lower weight and easier assembly. The planet benefits from lower CO2 emissions.
3 examples of innovative design
In the 1970s, a visit to a bucket supplier inspired the popular SKOPA armchair. That same originality has since led to POPPTORP, a sturdier successor with practical storage under a removable seat.
In 1979, we wanted to make a table that would be at home in any setting. A door supplier using a thick, easy to adapt board-on-frame construction helped us create LACK, a lightweight table for under 10 Euros.
In 2014 IKEA designers collaborated with artisans in South East Asia to create the NIPPRIG collection, combining Scandinavian design and know-how in low-cost distribution, with traditional craftsmanship.