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Make it yours: the story behind hacking IKEA

A new exhibition at the IKEA Museum explores the movement of hacking. It reflects the growing trend for adapting IKEA products and invites visitors to get involved.

A woman wearing a dress made from IKEA FRAKTA bags.
A woman wearing a dress made from IKEA FRAKTA bags.

The art of hacking

Customers have been hacking IKEA products for years, and the hype around the movement has inspired a new exhibition at the IKEA Museum in Älmhult, Sweden, entitled, IKEA Hacked: Our Products. Your Ideas. The team invited more than 30 artists and designers to include works of art they had created by repurposing pieces of IKEA. Four of the artists will also be in residence producing new hacks as part of the exhibition workshops. ‘We think it’s flattering that people worldwide are curious and get creative with our products, and we wanted to investigate this phenomenon in an exhibition,’ explains Camilla Junger, exhibitions team leader. Opening on 28 April, it includes everything from a tailored dress made from FRAKTA bags to a sculpture by Swedish artist Michael Johansson called LACK of Space, adapted from one of the best-known IKEA tables.

IKEA hackers think outside the flatpack. They share their work to inspire others and help them in their quest for a better everyday

Jules Yap, founder of IKEAhackers.net

Get involved

To encourage more people to get involved, customers will have the opportunity to try their hand at hacking in a series of workshops running throughout the exhibition. There will be an interactive light table, where visitors can create a one-minute lamp using IKEA items, and lectures and workshops on how to keep hacking safe and the possible negative results of altering products. There’s also the chance that your ideas will become a source of inspiration for IKEA. ‘The results may end up in the exhibition, or even inspire future collections,’ says Camilla. ‘Co-create (inviting customers to create new products with IKEA) is here to stay, and what we see here is only the beginning of a more democratic design involving the many people.’

Find out more about IKEA Hacked: Our Products. Your Ideas, at ikeamuseum.com