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Shortcuts: Design: Ikea's museum: will the doors be on straight?

May 13, 2014

If you're a furniture aficionado with little in the way of plans next year, there are worse ideas. Ikea has filed a request to open its very own museum, built on the grounds of the original Ikea store in Almhult, telling the comprehensive story of its revolutionary design ethos.

The concept does, sort of, make sense. After all, Ikea has managed to become such a byword for affordable design that almost everyone owns something bought there. But do people really want a dryly presented history of the flatpack shelving unit? Or would they rather see the Ikea experience captured permanently, allowing future generations to understand exactly what we all went through in our pursuit of a cheap sofa?

Yes, the evolution of the Billy bookcase line would make a genuinely interesting exhibit, and the Tirup armchair - forever straddling the line between physical beauty and total ergonomic impracticality - deserves pride of place in the new museum. But at the same time, wouldn't it be nice to visit a shimmering Willy Wonka-style World Of Meatballs restaurant? Or better yet: a zone where kids can try to emulate their parents by constructing miniature flatpack wardrobes based on abstract line-drawings by a stranger they'll come to irrationally hate, with the incorrect number of nuts, using a kitchen knife instead of a screwdriver and a shoe instead of a hammer, until 3am, at which point they'll swear furiously and give up and spend the rest of their lives using a wardrobe with a wonky door that will for ever stand as a monument to their own desperate technical ineptitude.

That, accompanied by areas filled with arguing couples and people hamfistedly mashing the gears of unfamiliar vans they have just hired, would capture the Ikea experience better than any traditional museum. Oh,

and big bags of Daim bars at the end. There must be big bags of Daim bars at the end. They're

the only reason anyone actually goes to Ikea, aren't they?

Stuart Heritage

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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