Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

IKEA Design and Identity Through the Years

Written by Christopher Alm • February 12th, 2010
IKEA Design and Identity Through the Years

IKEA Design och Identitet

This book looks really swell! There are probably no one left in the world who hasn’t heard about IKEA with its affordable build-it-your-self-furniture concept. Ingvar Kamprad, the man behind IKEA was only seventeen when started his soon to be blooming enterprise in 1943. Ten years later he opened his first IKEA store in Sweden.

Today there are over 200 stores worldwide and as much as I love IKEA I also think it’s too ubiquitous and consumer driven. People throw away their furniture to buy new every two years because it’s so inexpensive, not stopping for two minutes reflecting on the design and functionality.

The book is titled “IKEA Design och Identitet” and can be bought from Adlibris if you live in Sweden. Which is your favorite IKEA piece?

IKEA’s catalogs are like a photo book of the Swedish home. Here contemporary living is reflected from the 1970s brown corduroy couches and painted pine kitchen tables to todays modern design of the PS-collection of top international class. It’s retro, nostalgia, present and future vision, all at once. But what lies behind such a strong concept that allowed them furnish almost every Swedish home for decades?

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • This book looks great! I'm a huge fan of IKEA. My husband's family still has pieces they bought from IKEA in the 70s that held up well and look good. I wish the book was available in the US. Hopefully they'll publish something similar in the states.

  • It's funny, walking into a IKEA in the US, Germany or anywhere is like being in one in Sweden. They look completely identical, it's a bit like stepping into the Twilight Zone.

  • Lee

    Ikea is a drug that once you're addicted to it, it's hard to break free.

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