IKEA: Democratic Design FY13 video

The beauty I would say
with democratic design is, almost anybody could do
a beautiful product if it could be at any cost at all. I think the beauty is that
we could make great design accessible to the many people. Democratic design is our take
on how to fulfil our vision. It contains five different elements. It has great shape to it
or form if you like. It’s about function.
It’s about quality. It’s about sustainability. And last but not least,
it’s making it accessible for everybody, so it has to be at a low price. That’s democratic design. We have a very clear standpoint
in how we’d like to express and help people
to solve their needs at home. It’s not only about
the functionality as such. It is the added value, like for instance
you get light in the closet. To have a little simple light
that gives fantastic functionality but doesn’t disturb your partner.
It’s easy and accessible. We just don’t only add functionality.
Life becomes easier. That’s the essence
of the point of view and the home
we want to be known for. Design in general is about teamwork and from the start;
it’s setting up the right kind of team. We had an idea that
we wanted to do tools for kids. We went down to Italy
and we visited some schools. We saw that kids could be
really creative on their own if they just had the right tools. Then we started to do sketches. When we have all these
millions of sketches, we meet up with the team
and we present this for them. And they give their input. We have this relationship
with both our co-workers and with our customers and suppliers. They have the knowledge about
what they are best suited to produce. Then we adopt the design to the possibilities within
that very factory and production line. And that’s one of the main hurdles
when you want to do low-cost items. So this pen for example,
we had discussions about having two tips,
one small and one big. We decided to take one tip off
because we figured we could reach a better price
if we only had one tip With a good price
we can reach out to the many people. We wanted this whole range
to be of a really good quality. We wanted the colours
to be just fantastic. And we wanted them
to be fun to use, easy to use, and also long-lasting. And do you know
what the best thing is? They are washable. This is a new product.
It’s the [Sellia] bedside table. And as you can see it has
a lovely IKEA design to it. Colourful. By using a material not commonly used
in bedside tables, sheet metal, we can achieve
a completely different price level. Most people have a tendency
to have their mobile phone by their bed and they want to charge it at night. They use that as
an alarm clock in the morning. And instead of charging it
on top of the bedside table, we thought it might be a good idea to be able to charge it
inside the bedside table. Then we have this drawer
and just flipping to the bottom, you can see that the drawer
does not go all the way down. There’s a gap here
and that’s for the cable management. A really simple, straight-forward
way of doing cable management. All at the price level of 20 Euros. If you look at design in general,
it’s quite elitist. And our work within IKEA
is to actually make all of those desirable things,
the really good stuff, the really good solutions
accessible for more people. That’s our every day work.

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