Design students undertook a one-week workshop with IKEA co-workers and Tom Dixon at the Royal College of Art in London.
Design students undertook a one-week workshop with IKEA co-workers and Tom Dixon at the Royal College of Art in London. Jamie Baker

Looking into the future of furniture

DELAKTIG is really about exploring the future of seating and bedding as we know it today. At IKEA we believe that things simply become better if you work on them together. We were proven right on this when putting the open platform in the hands of some of the future designers at the Royal College of Art in London.

Developing a platform like DELAKTIG takes a lot of curiosity, pushing boundaries on the factory floor and not least collaborating with some great minds. The one week workshop with the students really inspired us and the students were both engaged and committed to elaborate on the open platform.

“We were curious to see the students’ approach to a project like this and their view on solving people’s needs at home. As students, many of them live in a small space and know the challenges that design needs to take care of,” says James Futcher.

The whole idea of the open platform is that anyone should be able to make it their own based on their own needs, so working with the students also had the purpose of trying that out, does it invite to elaborate on like we want?

Ideas were presented in an exhibition at the RCA at the end of the week.
Ideas were presented in an exhibition at the RCA at the end of the week. Jamie Baker
Undertaking the workshop were students from a different creative fields.
Undertaking the workshop were students from a different creative fields. Jamie Baker

“The students did very well working on the platform. As a designer you might be used to doing things from scratch, not getting a platform like this. But they were willing to get on with it and saw it as a challenge rather than an obstacle,” says James Futcher.

The whole idea of the open platform is that anyone should be able to make it their own based on their own needs.

At the end of the workshop, the students presented their work and ideas at an exhibition. The mix of students, spanning from interior design, product design and industrial design to fashion design, textile design, art history and communication design was refreshing because the ideas and outcome varied based on their background. There were some good challenges that IKEA can look into for the future. For instance, they came up with some new ideas on how to make comfort in a different way.

What happens now is that the ideas that the students worked on will be further evaluated. Taken into consideration that they only had one week to product develop where at IKEA product development takes a couple of years, the ideas are conceptual so we need to see how they can be developed further. This is both an exciting and challenging process where the goal is to take some of the ideas further, which will then, of course, involve the students.

Students only had a week to develop their products, this process normally takes a couple years at IKEA.
Students only had a week to develop their products, this process normally takes a couple years at IKEA. Jamie Baker