October 23, 2014

Hacking IKEA

After several busy months in the studio we’re back! On the ‘to-do’ list has been some binge podcast listening now that we have a bit of breathing room. 99% Invisible Design (see earlier post) is a staple around here and when you get a chance, Episode 128: Hacking IKEA is definitely worth a listen.  It dives into the not so under world of hacking IKEA stuff and highlights a passionate, dedicated and connected community who are out there doing it.

As it turns out IKEA hacking encompasses a broad spectrum, from trimming a shelf to fit your own space, to re-purposing a trash bin into a pendant light, or on the more extreme end, making children’s coats out of their iconic blue bag or run bikes from Frosta stools.



Some of the reasons this trend is flourishing on-line, as the podcast points out, is because of both the modularity of IKEA’s products and the fact that the exact same IKEA products are available all over the world.  Other reasons we think people are trying this out are the relative low cost of the products (not a huge investment if the hack goes sideways) and that many are self assembly (which gives hackers better insight into the materials and how the product is put together). All of these factors reduce the unknown and gives ‘hackers’ the confidence to give it a try.
Hacking IKEA is one of those fascinating unforeseen phenomenons born from ‘Global Sameness’, which in some ways empowers the consumer by not always having to conform to the way the product was intended.  It’s cool to be able to add your own personal twist to a generic product to fit your own unique world. As ‘ virgin hacker’ Sean Cole says, “I feel like a punk member of the mainstream”. Hope you enjoy Episode 128: Hacking IKEA as much as we did.