Case Studies / IKEA museum
Seventy odd years ago, IKEA was established to cater for people’s need in the deep forests of the Swedish south. Now one of the worlds largest furniture retailers, IKEA invites the public to experience what it takes to cater for humanity, including driving forces and lesson learned, inside the very first of its kind—the IKEA museum.
With more than five years experience, in close collaboration with IKEA, designing products including the JANINGE chair, design studio Form Us With Love was invited to design three parts of the museum; the Introductory Hall, the Democratic Design Gallery and the Interactive Ball Room.
THE INTRODUCTORY HALL
Perhaps mostly recognised for his love of essentials, the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, wisely decided to focus his business on affordable needs for everyone’s home. Today, IKEA remains largely unchanged. With an ambition to set the scene as a somewhat intuitive beginning, Form Us With Love and the project team set out to build the Introductory Hall as a manifestation of IKEA’s values—a flat pack journey installed on two sheltering walls. Effectively, a line up of artistically displayed items from the complete IKEA range, leading the visitor into the main exhibition.
‘We felt that the first room of the museum should project what IKEA is all about, without feeling daunting. It should be powerful and inspirational, a mix of well known essential objects and elements of surprise. The aim is an intuitively strong and tactile experience,’ says John Löfgren, Co-founder and creative director at Form Us With Love.
THE DEMOCRATIC DESIGN GALLERY
Three floors up, in the Democratic Design gallery you are invited behind the scene, getting a fair sneak peek into what’s ahead. From first brief to final product, the public is given a chance to explore the formula behind IKEA—in the present, but more importantly in the sustained future. This installation by Form Us With Love, is all about opening up and unveiling previously untold stories about design, product development and quality control, all in place to meet the needs for the next generation.
‘As designers collaborating with IKEA, we felt that this was a great opportunity to invite the public into our world. A ‘work in progress’ atmosphere, where you can touch and feel the various materials that IKEA products are, and will be made from in the future. We wanted to make the gallery a platform to understand the “why” behind the design decisions made,’ says Jonas Pettersson, co-founder and CEO of Form Us With Love.
THE INTERACTIVE BALL ROOM
On the top floor of the museum an interactive sculpture is to be found. A large scale pipe construction, designed by Form Us With Love, vertically descends through the atrium, all the way to the ground floor. Inspired by marble runs, the installation allows young (and grown up) visitors to drop and follow the journey of a classic IKEA ball from the mandatory kids play room featured at all IKEA stores.
‘We believe IKEA’s attention to the youngest generation is worth embodying in the museum, that is why we proposed a playful installation running through the building, mirroring what we as designers experience as true and progressive IKEA DNA,’ John Löfgren concludes.
Process / Explore
IKEA – Kitchen
Our collaboration on the JANINGE collection had a profound impact on our understanding and admiration of the IKEA universe. We were therefore thrilled the day kitchen range manager, Gerry Dufresne, asked us to do an in-depth study of the kitchen. Together with product developer, Anna Granath, we began to unfold the complex world of the heart of the home.Read more
Punāh is an initiative by one of India’s major manufacturing conglomerates,
Godrej and Boyce, focusing on re-thinking the use of industrial waste materials. This year, Form Us With Love was invited to Mumbai as curators, designing the first ever Punāh exhibition, shown at the London Design Festival Sept 2016.
Process / Futurise
Gottsunda is a civic concept created for a municipality of Uppsala, just to the north of Stockholm; and was part of Santa & Cole’s range.
At a glance the piece seems harsh and unfriendlRe: FUWL books 160113, mail 1 of 2.y, yet there’s a visual warmth and realism to using moulded concrete. It’s a material we’ve all seen so it gives off a familiarity and durability of course, which a piece for public areas requires.
Form Us With Love undertook a lengthy process of research, holding workshops with residents of this specific municipality—one that some might describe as an impoverish neighbourhood. And the interactions from the meetings of the inhabitants of Gottsunda became the fuel for making the bench a piece that wants people to sit, talk and discover that there’s more to folk than face value.
To make this happen, the studio set a series of heating loops within the bench, as they once did on the benches of Stockholm’s more exposed subway stations, using the warmth created as a byproduct of the cooling process of making electricity in nearby power plants.
To sit down alongside someone you don’t know and sharing a warmth instead of an uncertainty is something public architecture needs more of. Spaces that are inviting and generate a sense of shared pride and belonging should be encouraged on a wider level from those who plan such places.
Process / Concept
The advantage of curating a sequence of exhibitions is that you can learn from one exhibition and apply it to the next. Last year, Form Us With Love utilised their Greenhouse design at Stockholm Furniture & Light fair as a platform for dialogue. This resulted in an unpleasant discovery, unveiling that the perceived gap between […]Read more
Process / Prototype
Building a box should be easy. Four sides, a top perhaps. Corners. However, as a studio, we do tend to sweat the small stuff. As a result, it took many CAD drawings to find the quality we were looking for when designing Greenhouse 2016 and its simple box-like stands for the exhibitors.Read more
Process / Qualify
IKEA – Odger
After a domestic chair for public use and a tech dining chair we dived headfirst into the realm of wood-polypropylene, initially started by product developer Åsa Hederberg back in 2014. Odger is an exciting, two-part chair—now at its very final but most important, qualifying stage.
Qualifying Odger, is the time when our hard work in collaboration with quality developers, Karin Engquist and Nikolay Pishiev, finally come to life and where no details are too small to revisit. But equally qualifying is the part of the process when we begin to enquire into the multifaceted production, in it’s actual materials with the correct surfaces and treatments. Under the qualify lens, the surface of Odger has proved both beautiful and challenging, meaning that we have to get the surface of the woodplastic as resistant as possible without jeopardising the unique appearance and tactility.
A key element of qualifying the Odger chair is also testing the intuitiveness in which legs and shell are mounted, using handles instead of screws. In order to get this assembly as close as possible to the consumer mind—new, yet well grounded—many handle prototypes have been made to reach that perfected self-explanatory goal. With rigorous quality control, seat and legs can now effortlessly be assembled with a new mechanism, a innovative Odger key/handle.
Thinking / Excursion
LIENERS DESIGN LOUNGE
This month, Form Us With Love participated in an evening symposium, held at the beautiful Marmorsaal in Weissenburgpark, Stuttgart, Germany. In a series of talks, hosted by Liener büromöbel, design was tackled in three sub-sections; team, room and process. Speakers included Prof. Ulrich Weinberg from Hasso Plattner Institut in Potsdam, Markus Schiffer, Country Manager at Buzzi Space […]Read more
Prototypa – Milan
During Milan design week this April, Form Us With Love temporary moved their practice to engage in the second round of Prototypa—a four-day series of talks on the act of prototyping. Inhabiting a Milanese architect firm, located in the centre of the city, Prototypa brought four conversations in an honest setting, delivering actual and speculative design assessments to a […]Read more
Thinking / Problems
Our first chair project, was called Highway—a collaboration with the brothers at Mitab. After meeting Peter and Marcus in London it had not taken us long before we became regulars in their factory in Tranås. We were impressed by their welding robots, but wondered why they were not actively working.
The brothers told us that the robots normally worked on welding shopping baskets but there was not enough subcontracting at the moment. We thought long and hard and returned with an idea. ‘Perhaps we could design something based on what the robot was capable of doing, that way we would both stay true to the brand and optimise their production line,’ we thought.
It was a bit of a eureka moment when we realised the robots had nothing to do. For us it became very important to realise that we were not only designing something, but letting design solve a logistics problem. To learn every step of a production line as a designer, allowed for adjustments to be made along the way, preventing any details going unnoticed. If the atmosphere does not allow for questioning, its difficult to walk away with a good outcome, or any outcome at all for that matter. In the case of Mitab, it was fairly straight forward. The producer will always listen more carefully if you—in a respectful manner—discuss problems which will turn into profit.
Thinking / Publications
DESIGN SWEDEN 60 YEARS
Design Sweden is an independent organisation set up with the purpose to nurture and enable designers living and working in Sweden and those operating abroad. Celebrating 60 years this year, the organisation is continuing to engage in design from an industry as well as a public perspective. This years anniversary celebrations include an evening of talks around the theme of […]Read more
The I—X publication by Form Us With Love was awarded this March by the Swedish Book Art Association, ‘to serve as a model of emulation.’ As a chronological compilation, edited by Lia Forslund and designed by Hendrik Nygren Design, the book is a generously sized monograph filled with design process, insights and reflective thinking. ‘The act to present extensive material […]Read more
Thinking / Mistakes
In 2009, Comforty Living invited a number of renowned European designers to compete for a contract — Andersen & Voll from Norway, Philippe Negro from France, to name a few. We were invited to Warsaw to each design a sofa. The best piece was then picked by a jury and put in production.
Comforty Living is a brand divided in two parts; Comfort Living and Com40. The later being a manufacturer of sofas for IKEA. The challenge however, was not to make an IKEA sofa but quite the opposite. Comforty Living wanted us to present ideas for a premium sofa—working to virtually no restrictions.
We took the brief very literally and began researching the boundaries of a sofa and how to go beyond it. Our solution became something closer to art than a piece of furniture. We did not win the pitch, but cherished the fact that we had enabled our creativity to run past what was commercially viable, something which designers rarely get the chance to do. That ‘behind every great product is a string of failed ones,’ is a cliché. However, in the case of the ‘sofa and beyond,’ we actually aimed to fall short, which put us much closer to the target.
Studio / About
SANKT ERIKSGATAN 106
113 31 STOCKHOLM
+46 8 218 002
Form Us With Love, is the international design studio founded in 2005. Since its conception, the studio has burned with a passion for design and its democratic potential. Its belief is that we all have a right to meaningful design.
At the studio’s core lies a process that blends traditional creative practices with a lean, strategic application. The central intention is to evolve with the needs of each project, its place in the market and the ever-changing needs of real people.
Today, the work of Form Us With Love falls into three areas: Consultancy—an engagement in products, ranges, collaborations and spaces for clients around the world, Ventures—disciplined and holistic approaches to launch and build brands, Civic—based on knowledge transfers and sharing of experiences, actively contributing to the broader spectra of design.
SANKT ERIKSGATAN 106
113 31 STOCKHOLM
+46 8 218 002
Studio / Join us
Join usTrainee Program
Form Us With Love is looking towards the future, giving our very best to design real change with our global clients, ventures, and civic projects. What’s behind Form Us With Love is an international and driven team of designers collaborating towards this vision.
June 16th we hold our annual Summer Workshop for applicants interested in joining our one year Trainee Program and becoming a part of the team. We have three trainee positions open; Designer, Industrial Designer, and Content Manager.
Join us for the Summer Workshop on the 16th of June. The application deadline is May 20th. For more details, Download the attached PDF’s.