A full-sized home life in small urban spaces

How do you turn 12 square meters into a functional and cosy home, and at the same time make it easy to pack and unpack when it is time to move to a new place, yet again? We talked to Viveca about RÅVAROR, a coming collection that might become your best friend for a very long time.

Cities are booming, and at the same time living spaces are shrinking. About 1.5 million people join urban populations every week. When cities grow, spaces shrink, and people have to make compromises in the functions of their homes. Is it possible to create a functional and homey space that is also easy to pack and unpack when it is time to move to your next place?

IKEA has been developing small space living solutions for a long time and Viveca Olsson, Creative Leader at IKEA, knows that storage and making space for physical activity are big challenges in peoples’ urban homes. Perhaps you want to make space for your daily yoga, but also for easily switching from dining to dancing when you have friends over. RÅVAROR is designed to quickly turn small spaces into smart spaces with the convenience and comfort of home.

“With RÅVAROR we wanted to create a few key items that have a new level of versatility, functionality and simplicity. And when it is time to move, it should be easy to pack everything up, stack them together and relocate to your next home,” says Viveca.

The team behind RÅVAROR came up with 20 products, such as a daybed and sofa, tables, a mini kitchen, open storage solutions on castors, textiles and lighting. The products have multi-use functions, and Viveca likes to look at the collection as “hard-working best friends” because she believes they will follow you around.

Outside IKEA in Älmhult stands a shipping container, in which Viveca and her team are assembling, disassembling and moving around the 20 prototypes. They chose a container to limit themselves to 12 square meters, a living space that is a reality for many people in big cities. During a couple of hours, they move furniture around to try different situations, and at one point they all gather around the tables put together the way you would do it if you had a bunch of friends over.

Who is this collection for?

“When designing a collection for micro spaces the first people who spring to mind are students, but I prefer “social singles all ages”. No matter how small space you have or how old you are, you should be able to have friends over for dinner and dancing,” says Viveca.

What was the most challenging part of developing RÅVAROR?

“We really wanted to live up to the concept of mobile and flexible living, and for us, it was important that we could put wheels on the storage products. I am happy that we now have durable and sustainable castors that will last when used many times a day.”

Designers Eva Lilja Löwenhielm and Ola Wihlborg.

RÅVAROR will be available globally from September 2020.