Developing IKEA products can take place almost anywhere around the world – on a factory floor in Asia or on the drawing board in Älmhult, Sweden. And everybody involved works together to create a product range that is simple and straightforward, with products that are hard-wearing, easy to live with and affordable. Democratic design… Good design should be available for the many, not the few. That’s why all IKEA designers design every IKEA product starting with a functional need and a price.
Then they use their creativity and knowledge and use low-cost raw materials and manufacturing processes to create functional products. Then large volumes are purchased to push prices down even further. Most IKEA products are also designed to be transported in flat packs and assembled at the customer’s home. This also lowers the price by minimising transportation and storage costs. By doing all this, the IKEA Concept uses design to make sure that IKEA products can be bought and enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Form follows function… IKEA designers constantly seek new ways to improve people’s lives – without emptying their wallets. But how can good design and function be combined with good quality, all at a low price? It starts with focusing on what’s important. Will an expensive finish on the back of a shelf or under a table-top improve the function? Of course not. So IKEA designers do not do it, because a product is of no use to the many people if it is not affordable. Maximising production possibilities.