DESIGN BY IKEA
A CULTURAL HISTORYBook - 2014
Sara Kristoffersson's compelling study provides the first sustained critical history of IKEA. Kristoffersson argues that the company's commercial success has been founded on a neat alignment of the brand with a particular image of Swedish national identity - one that is bound up with ideas of social democracy and egalitarianism - and its material expression in a pared-down, functional design aesthetic. Employing slogans such as "Design for everyone" and "Democratic design", IKEA signals a rejection of the stuffy, the 'chintzy', and the traditional in both design practices and social structures.
Drawing on original research in the IKEA company archive and interviews with IKEA personnel, Design by IKEA traces IKEA's symbolic connection to Sweden, through its design output and its promotional materials, to examine how the company both promoted and profited from the concept of Scandinavian Design.