Work

IKEA – Kungsbacka

IKEA – Kungsbacka

2017

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With an ambition to show the world how a circular economy can manifest itself at scale, Form Us With Love has in collaboration with IKEA created KUNGSBACKA, the first kitchen fronts line, entirely made from recycled plastic bottles and reclaimed industrial wood.

With twenty five plastic bottles used for every 40x80cm unit, KUNGSBACKA proves a viable alternative as well as a statement to the world. ‘A plastic bottle is not waste, it is a resource. And most importantly, this kitchen proves that these materials can be used for household goods in large scale production,’ says Jonas Pettersson, CEO at Form Us With Love.

Besides pioneering kitchen fronts by collaborating on a line completely made out of what others discard, Form Us With Love developed a distinctly angled silhouette in matte, anthracite grey. ‘The function of the chamfer is emotive. It’s an ingeniously generous shape making use of an industrial process sparingly to add something extra, breaking the rigid formality and flatness of kitchen fronts. We wanted it to feel like a black t-shirt, tuned to fit right, practical and still precious,’ says John Löfgren, Creative Director at Form Us With Love.

Together with the HACKÅS kitchen handles, the KUNGSBACKA line stands out as both clean cut and modular, ready to fit any kitchen plan for decades to come. This timeless aesthetic, adds another dimension to the economy, designing a line which is resilient to fashion—a kitchen that people want to keep.

Working with IKEA and an Italian supplier, Form Us With Love carefully explored the possibilities of the new kitchen material without losing track of the production cost. When using recycled and reclaimed materials, more research and development goes into the project, and perhaps rightly so, as hours spent directly mirrors the commitment to our sustained future. 

With longer development however, affordability becomes the challenge—testing and qualifying the kitchen to maintain a low price, and yet withstand usage for 25 years and more. ‘Today, applying waste materials in production is unfortunately still costly and the KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts could have easily ended up too expensive. Overcoming the price was a milestone in the development. Sustainability should be for everyone, not only for those who can afford it,’ says Anna Granath, product developer at IKEA of Sweden.

Avoid using virgin plastics in large volume productions, is the way ahead according to the design studio. Each year approximately 100 billion PET-bottles are used by consumers. Only a fraction of that resources is being used. ‘Together, we have to challenge the excuses for not using waste as a resource by showing how to best put these material back into production, making affordable democratic products that will last,’ Jonas Pettersson concludes. It’s about designing real change.

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