IKEA’s museum in Sweden celebrates its 73 years in product design

NOV 23, 2016 | By Tasneem Merchant
There is truly no place like home and only a few understand this adage as well as Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA. Founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, the mail-order firm has been at the forefront of the global DIY genre for over 70 years. With a humble beginning of retailing pencils, pipes and postcards, the brand gradually evolved to include chairs, tables, cookware and other products in its flexible and diverse catalogue.
Recently, it opened its first museum in Almhult, Sweden, in the warehouse which was previously home to IKEA’s primary physical store. It spans more than 75,000 sq ft comprising over 20,000 pieces from its archives and has four exhibitions on view: Our Roots, about the founder Ingvar’s life; Our Story, which brings visitors up to speed with the labels history; Your Story, a collection of anecdotes from the users of its two highest selling products, Billy bookcase and Klippan sofa; and #IKEAtemporary, a showcase updated twice a year reflecting the changing scene of domestic setups.
This time, the latter revolved around kitchens with renowned designers such as Paola Navone, Matali Crasset and Ilse Crawford among others displaying their own interpretations of the space. For this exhibit, the origins can be traced to its third annual Life at Home report – a research spread across 12 cities involving 12,000 people. The findings were revealed during the Democratic Design Day meet in June with installations exploring the elements that make four walls a home: Space, Things, Relationships and Place.
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