Swedish furniture giant Ikea has developed an open platform that it hopes will challenge the traditional concept of comfort.
Made of wooden slats and aluminum, Ikea’s new unit is intentionally ‘hackable’ – allowing customers to clip on additional elements supplied by either Ikea or third parties.
Shaped as low sofa or bed frame, the first product in Ikea’s Delaktig range (Swedish for “being part of something”) is a flexible base made of aluminum and supported by wooden slats. Intentionally basic, Ikea says it presents an opportunity to think about a modular, component-based approach, which it says could be a significant shift for the upholstery or bed-frame industry.
“The multi-purpose nature and openness of the product got us to think of openness also in the way we work with this project,” says James Futcher, Ikea’s creative leader. “For a curious company like IKEA, the idea of inviting more talent to co-create the open platform was on the cards.”
Potential attachments could include armrests, baby cribs, privacy add-ons, reading, lamps, etc. Grooves in the unit’s frame accept a standard-sized bolt head, allowing for easy manipulation.
Scheduled to go on sale in early 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Delaktig will be priced similar to Ikea’s midrange sofas (between $400 and $900).
Futcher told WSJ that several companies already make after-market add-ons for the company’s furniture, and that’s something Ikea hopes to encourage.
“People hack anyway; we want to encourage that,” Futcher said.