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Innovative design

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.

Film telling the story of the IKEA ODGER chair, made of renewable wood and recycled plastics, showing its journey from sketches to ready chair.

Innovative news

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.

This is the story about a desk that helps you spend more time on your feet, thus reducing many health risks. SKARSTA sit/stand desk comes with a simple crank that you raise and lower manually. In other words, you can enjoy that cinnamon bun during your co

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.

Sometimes design works out much better that expected. Richard Clack set out to redefine the traditional shoe cabinet, but ended up developing something with a whole lot more personality and flexibility than that.

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.

This is a story about reducing something to its minimal components in order to discover its perfect form. The concept of LAMPAN started on a cocktail napkin, and has today evolved into a bright shining IKEA bestseller and classic.

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.
 

Read more about our relationships with suppliers in People and Communities

Behind the scenes: Social Entreprenerus PDF

Female in blue t-shirt working on IKEA factory floor in Vietnam with male in a striped t-shirt.

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.

Behind the scenes: Purchasing PDF

IKEA products packed in pallets at one of the IKEA distribution centres

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.
 

Read more about our energy saving efforts in Energy and Resources

Behind the scenes: EPS-free packaging PDF

 

3 examples of innovative design

Close up of pink POPPTORP armchair with black seat cushion, and headphones laying on top.

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.

Close up of orange LACK table, standing with different coloured LACK tables stacked on top of each other in the background.

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.

Close-up of NIPPRIG plant pots made from water hyacinths, stacked on top pf each other.

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.