Design

Ikea: exclusive backstage tour of the Swedish giant

Ikea: exclusive backstage tour of the Swedish giant

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

The giant Ikea fascinates as much as it intrigues! On the occasion of the Democratic Design Day that took place on June 8, 2016 in Sweden, the editorial office of Côté Maison had the chance to discover behind the scenes of the successful brand. Visit the photo studio, discover the museum dedicated to the brand, interviews of designers ... Discover the Ikea below exclusivity!

Who has not dreamed of slipping behind the scenes of Ikea and discovering all the secrets of the brand? Invited to Älmhult on the occasion of Democratic Design Day, the editorial staff of Côté Maison had the opportunity to visit the place where the Swedish giant was born. How are Ikea catalog photos taken? What are the steps for creating the new collections? What does Ikea have for the next few years? We tell you everything!

Democratic Design Day, an opportunity to rediscover Ikea

Object of all fantasies and rumors, Ikea fascinates with its success. A privileged guest of the Democratic Design Day that was held on June 8, 2016, the editorial staff of Côté Maison took full eyes during the discovery behind the scenes of the Swedish brand.

The Democratic Design Day, which has been running for only 3 years, is an opportunity to discover how Ikea works, but also to highlight the people who work there. This event takes place in Älmhult, a small Swedish village where the sign was born and which is the place of residence of its discreet creator. Nicknamed Ikea City, the city is where the first Ikea store was established. Here, everything revolves around the brand, and 80% of the inhabitants work for the brand! With more than 8000 employees, the premises located in Älmhult impress with their volumes and their arrangement "American style".

Read also: Ikea reveals its new collections 2016

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

In an introductory speech to the Democratic Design Day, Peter Agnefjäll, CEO of Ikea and Jesper Brodin, Assortment Manager Ikea gave us some answers about the question everyone asks, namely: how does the furniture giant work? From design to materials selection to the development of new collections, Ikea relies on five key points: form, function, economics, quality and sustainability. To reach the shelves of the brand, Ikea products must therefore meet all these criteria, but also those of Democratic Design, accessible design, keystone of the brand.

Jesper Brodin and Peter Agnefjäll in the introductory speech to Democratic Design Day in Älmhult.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Spotlight on the backstage of Ikea

Photo studio, prototype workshops, administrative offices ... In addition to being the birthplace of the brand, Älmhult is home to many Ikea infrastructures. With a surface of more than 8000 m2, the photo studio Ikea, in which catalog visuals are taken, is one of the largest photo studios in the world. In the interminable alleys of the studio, objects of everyday life, decorative accessories and Ikea furniture are stored and waiting to be selected to give life to the pictures of future catalogs.

Read also> Ikea: a taste of the new products 2017 and 2018

Seen behind the scenes of the Ikea photo studio: the staging of an ethnic and colorful bedroom.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Seen behind the scenes of the Ikea photo studio: the well orchestrated setting of a bedroom.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Behind the scenes of the Ikea photo studio.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Moodboard of Ikea inspirations for future collections.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

In the building of prototypes, designers and employees are working around sketches and raw materials to find the next flagship furniture brand ... A well orchestrated mechanics, but that leaves room for creativity! It is also in these same premises that the designers and their teams think about ideas to rethink and customize Ikea bestsellers. A nice way not to tire the customers.

The workshop where the Ikea prototypes are conceived and manufactured.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Sketches and sketches of the prototypes of the future Ikea collections.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Moodboard of inspirations for the creative teams of Ikea.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

On 30 June 2016, Ikea will inaugurate its new museum in Älmhult. Entirely dedicated to the Swedish giant and its history, the building looks back on the beginnings of the brand and traces its success. Larger than the old, the museum is modernizing and becoming more playful.

Seen in the museum Ikea: old catalogs Ikea.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Seen in the museum Ikea: the famous Ikea blue bag, emblem of the brand.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

Seen in the museum Ikea: the evolution of the logo of the brand over the years.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

What Ikea has for the next years

In addition to discovering the bottom of the successful brand, we had the chance to learn about Ikea's projects. Among the surprises that the Swedish brand offers us, two long-awaited collaborations: one with the designer Tom Dixon, the other with Hay.

To read also: Tom Dixon, the unclassifiable

Designers Tom Dixon and Hay announce their future collaborations with Ikea.

House side / Audrey Couppé from Kermadec

On the program for Tom Dixon X Ikea's future collaboration: a great work on comfort, versatility and the convertible, with a product revealing a new way of designing the sofa bed. If the details of this collaboration are still kept secret, it is certain that the products of the collection will align with the prices practiced at Ikea, and that they will be available within 2 to 3 years. Patience, then.

On the Hay side, the designers have focused on the customization of Ikea's classics, especially with the change of the color of the shopping bag that will become gray, the time of the collaboration. If we do not know much about the future collection, we know that it will revolve around a work on colors and pure Scandinavian style.

On the occasion of the Democratic Design Day, the brand has also announced that it will be digitalized by embarking on virtual reality to offer a total immersion to its customers. We can not wait to discover that!

3 questions to Kristina Petersson Lind, design and assortment manager at Ikea

During the Democratic Design Day, Ikea Design and Assortment Director Kristina Petersson Lind answered some of our questions to highlight the secrets of the brand's success ...

- What is your role within Ikea and how do you work?

Kristina Petersson Lind As design and assortment manager at Ikea, I work closely with Marcus Engman, general manager of Ikea design, but also with the teams and designers of the different sectors of the brand. To develop a new collection or a product, we work by themes and make a kind of creative exploration by asking what this theme means for us, but especially for consumers. Our ultimate goal? Find solutions tailored to customer expectations. That's right, Democratic Design. For an idea to lead to a finished product in a store, we must first ask ourselves 3 questions: do the products fit our future strategy? Is Ikea able to produce such products? Will the products be cheap? If so, the idea becomes a prototype, then a product. But this process can be very long because the collections and novelties are planned well before. For example, for kitchens, it takes about 3 years. For sectors such as textiles, it takes 6 months. Nevertheless, we must make sure to leave room for surprise and remain open to change, without planning everything in advance.

- What are your sources of inspiration?

Kristina Petersson Lind: to work, I am mainly inspired by talented and passionate people in the world of design and decoration, but especially people from Ikea teams. At the moment, I like the natural tendency and I particularly like raw materials such as natural fibers, glass or metal. It is therefore natural that I appreciate the work of designer Ingegerd Råman with whom Ikea recently collaborated.

- Tell us about future Brand projects.

Kristina Petersson Lind: without going into confidential details, Ikea plans to focus more on sustainable development and the natural tendency. In a spirit of memory, we also want to offer products from the Scandinavian tradition and rethink them with a modern twist. Finally, we can say that Ikea opens more collaborations and becomes more than a brand, the sign is a carrier of a "societal" movement.