IKEA is one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic retailers – although our two most popular stories about the Swedish furniture giant over the past year were about designers who hacked their products.
First, Danish kitchen company Reform invited designers including BIG, Henning Larsen and Norm to customise IKEA’s popular Metod kitchen.
The aim was to make kitchens a little more interesting. “For the most part our kitchens are white and as neutral as possible,” explained Reform CEO Jeppe Christensen. “We want to change this.”
The success of this story led us to publish a roundup of popular IKEA products and hacks. The hacks included a cafe made of customised items from the brand, a bar made of its storage boxes, and a chair sandpapered until it could barely stand up, as a comment on the global economy.
Besides these subversive takes, the brand was its usual prolific self over the year, launching a bicycle, relaunching its iconic blue shopping bag as a fashion accessory and even unveiling a hydroponic kit.
On a more serious note, the company had to recall around 29 million of its low-cost Malm dressers after three separate incidents in which the units fell over and crushed toddlers to death.
1. IKEA kitchens hacked by Danish architects including BIG
2. 13 of Dezeen’s favourite IKEA designs and hacks
3. IKEA to launch low-maintenance Sladda bicycle for urban riders
4. Hay redesigns IKEA’s iconic blue Frakta bag
5. IKEA launches Space10 innovation lab to explore the future of home design