Wednesday, May 22, our group traveled to the IKEA world corporate headquarters to meet Anna Rosenquist, IKEA training manager, and Sarah Fager, IKEA designer. The information we learned from them was invaluable. They showed us a perceptual map (diagram with four quadrants to fulfill several different needs of consumers) which consisted of Traditional-Popular, Scandinavian-Traditional, Scandinavian-Modern, and Modern-Popular. Every product designed at IKEA fits one of these four approaches, to maintain IKEA’s identity while also satisfying consumers wants and needs. IKEA’s main motto is “democratic design,” meaning they design each of their products needs to fulfill five traits: good form, functionality, low price point, quality, and sustainability.
I also spoke with Sarah personally about being a designer for IKEA, and was thrilled with how much she shared with me about her profession. Sweden’s culture is much more collaborative then America. One thing that Sarah had said to me is “no one is a super star, everyone contributes equally and is just as important as the next.” I have grown up in a society where we focus on who can make the most money, be the most successful. It was refreshing to meet people who have a different view on what a fulfilling life entails.