IKEA Launching Customizable “Open Source” Furniture To Give Customers More Choices

Image courtesy of IKEA Today

Maybe you can’t afford that bespoke chaise with the walnut legs and expensive upholstery, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to having the same living room as everyone else who shops at IKEA: in an effort to help customers living in tight spaces more options, the Swedish furniture company is introducing what it calls its first “open source” furniture.

IKEA says it will start selling a sofa that’s designed with customization in mind in early 2018, The Wall Street Journal reports: the Delaktig — Swedish for “being part of something” — has an aluminum frame and a slatted base, much like IKEA’s basic flat-packed bed.

The company is planning to price it in the middle of its sofa range, which could be anywhere from $399 to $899. It will come in various sizes with a number of accessories that can be clipped onto it, like lamps, a headboard, side table, and arm rests, depending on what the owner wants to use it for.

IKEA says it hopes to introduce other accessories as well, which is where the “open source” part of it all comes into play: the Delaktig’s metal frame has a bunch of grooves that take a standard-size bolt head, which allows folks to make and clip anything they want — perhaps something designed and sold by a third-party — to it.

In that spirit of hackability, IKEA worked with students in a workshop at London’s Royal College of Art to develop ideas like a clip-on privacy screen, a baby’s crib, and shelving, among other designs with the Delaktig in mind.

All schools that take part in these workshops own whatever the students create, IKEA said, and the company will buy any ideas they’re interested in taking further.

“It’s the most amazing moment to call a student and say that ‘IKEA is going to produce your clock or chair,'” Creative Leader Sigga Heimis said earlier this month.

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