How do you solve a problem like IKEA

Another visit to IKEA. As I looked for the ‘lack’ units I was going to use I followed the maze of paths, highly directional, always leading you on to a new interior fantasy, and found myself lost.  I was struck by how aspirational landscape photography was being used to give the surreal spaces a homely reality.  The images above show a hanging drape or screen – much like the ones I made for the last crit – depicting a log stack with irregular tree rings and on the right, a black and white with misty scenes printed on canvas, and on the table is more photography.  Ikea is using a folk memory of an ideal view of landscape to reinforce its desired perception of an ideal home interior, or cool workspace. Visual references to the abstract landscapes humanise the coldness of the flatpack interiors.

The simplicity of the design of pieces, using the square as the defining unit of space – this easy use of units creates a lazy abstraction, shorn of detail, maker’s hand or personalisation.  Underneath it all? Chipboard.

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