Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ikea Hackers @ The New York Times

There is a totally unofficial collective known as the Ikea Hackers. They transform Ikea's affordable furniture, accessories and home goods into unexpected new items, with brand-new artsy looks and purposes.
The reason why Ikea, the 60-year-old Swedish megabrand that has homogenized living rooms from Europe to Malaysia (it now has 265 stores in 35 countries), should be so hackable has everything to do with its price point, style and availability.
They can be do-it-yourselfers and technogeeks, tinkerers, artists, crafters and product and furniture designers, the hackers are united only by their perspective, which looks upon an Ikea bookcase or table and sees not a finished object but raw material. A clean palette yearning to be embellished or repurposed. They make a subset of an expanding global D.I.Y. movement, itself a huge tent of philosophies and manifestoes including but not confined to anticonsumerism, antiglobalism, environmentalism and all-purpose iconoclasm.
Some of the most ingenious hacks are as simple as a $6.99 Ikea desk lamp reimagined as a wall sconce, or stainless steel shelving reworked as a coffee table. A shower curtain can also become a dress. A surfboard and a couple of chairs are reborn into a new table. Plastic bowls are put together, along with stereo parts, to transform into 21st century speakers.

Read more @ The New York Times.

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