Ikea has long been a target for furniture hackers, with customers finding new ways to repurpose items sold by the firm. Turn some shelves into a radiator cover? No problem. Make a toolbox on wheels out of a chest of drawers? Simple. Now, though, Ikea wants to get in on the act itself, and is creating a new range of “open platform” furniture to encourage modders.
Plans for the platform (named Delaktig; Swedish for “being part of something”) were announced last year. But, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, we now know the first product in the range is scheduled to go on sale early 2018 and will be priced similar to Ikea’s midrange sofas (between $399 and $899). And, yes, it’ll be flat-pack.
This first piece will be a basic unit shaped like a low sofa or bed frame. Its frame will be made from extruded aluminum (durable and 40 percent recycled), with wooden slats supporting a cushion base. Grooves in the frame will accept a standard-sized bolt head, making it easy for customers to clip on additional elements supplied either by Ikea or third parties. These could include armrests, reading lamps, tall privacy screens, or even a crib for a baby — whatever suits the customer.
Several companies already make after-market add-ons for Ikea furniture, but Delaktig products will be purposefully easier to customize. Ikea says it wants to create furniture that is multi-purpose and thats suits cramped urban living, where people might want to rearrange the layout of their homes. “People hack anyway; we want to encourage that,” James Futcher, Ikea’s creative lead told the WSJ.