The sofa that began with the packaging
It’s not every day that you buy a sofa. It’s a big investments – both in terms of size and price. But what happens if we adapt the sofa to fit into smaller packaging so that we can reduce the cost and environmental impact from transports, logistics and warehousing? This is exactly what we did with KUNGSHAMN sofa. With a bit of creative thinking, change can happen.
1200 mm by 760 mm and 1140 mm by 800 mm. For Mirja Svensson, who works with packaging at IKEA, these are the magic numbers that can do wonders for the price of a sofa.
"It's the optimal pallet dimensions to be able to load, transport and store as effectively as possible", explains Mirja. "By packing a sofa smarter and smaller, we can we reduce the number of trucks on the roads, which has a positive effect on both costs and the environment."
Mirja presented the optimal packaging dimensions to designer Mikael Axelsson. Mikael liked the challenge at hand.
The dimensions set the boundaries
"For me as a designer, it's quite easy to make a nice, high-end sofa where I don't have to take a lot of things in account. To make a quality, low-priced sofa is more challenging – and more enjoyable."
He started sketching. The result was a sofa that could be divided into smaller units, each of which could fit to Mirja's dimensions.
"Another advantage with several smaller packages", explains Mikael, "is that they're lighter to take home than one large package."
A snug journey
Mirja describes her work as a fun puzzle involving a constant struggle with those millimetres. It's about having a comprehensive overview of the product's journey from the supplier to the customer's home.
"If the furniture is not properly protected throughout the journey, then all the work we've done developing and manufacturing a fine piece of furniture will have been in vain”, says Mirja. “So, when it comes to quality, the packaging is actually more important than you might think."