IKEA! As a design lover, I always have appreciated the values IKEA brings to the table – minimal, Scandanavian design, modularity and the ability to customize and easily upgrade our furniture to match our homes. In their own words :“Our mission is the almost impossible idea of combining formal beauty with a great functionality and lasting quality. All of this produced in a sustainable value chain and affordable for the client.” After spending considerable hours browsing the IKEA inventory and combining my exposure of great product designs we come across at Yanko, this curated collection of designs features product designs that are truly IKEA-worthy and are sure to be a hit in their collection!
It’s worth noticing how the OO Stool by S Mate Olah (of 56 Hours) does such a great job of combining sustainability along with technology and a pinch of heritage. Made from a single board of bamboo plywood, the stool is CNC machine-cut in a way that integrates every single aspect of the stool into its design. Everything you need to build the OO Stool sits within that flat-packed jigsaw-puzzle of bamboo pieces, minimizing waste by using as much negative space as possible. The legs form the outside, while the dual-layered seat of the stool sits on the inside, with the negative space being filled by tiny rectangular pieces that help lock the stool in place, and even a bamboo hammer to help assemble the stool!
Keith Melbourne Studios envisioned how design intervention can create a new sort of stylish-yet-safe workplace with the Avion. Currently on the shortlist for an Inde Award, the Avion is a modular workspace setup that comes with a contemporary design with soft curves, chic furniture, and a modern color palette to help make the workspace look friendly and appealing. Designed to create visual comfort, with modularity that makes the design easily scalable so you’re more focused and relaxed at work, the cubicle systems isolate you and provide enough space to work out of, while still giving you enough of a window to step out and socialize from time to time… from a distance of course!
With summer comes an increase in usage of air conditioners and we know they are not exceptionally healthy for the planet. To help maintain the electricity usage, designers Aileen Ooi and E Ian Siew created KYL, an attachment to the common standing fan everyone has stashed away at their homes to make the room cooler. The attachment, named KYL is a humidity filter that funnels airflow output to cool a closed room. KYL would be able to lower temperatures by 1.5degrees Celsius and also make the room arider (a boon in humid places like Singapore, India, and more). Utilizing Bernoulli’s principle to create a cooling effect, KYL comes with a removable filter made up of tiny pieces of silica gel which absorbs moisture from the air. This lowers the humidity in the room and we can reuse the silica gel by washing it then leaving it out in the sun to dry, minimizing the usage of electricity. And removing this filter is easy as it comes affixed with velcro.
Now this is a fridge worthy of IKEA! Designed to be a sustainable appliance, the Addition by Heewoong Chai is a multi-type refrigerator system that up-sizes on demand. Based on the assumption that your first fridge comes home when you move out as a singleton, and your requirements increase when you marry and then expand your family with kids in tow, this fridge makes clever use of being modular by allowing you to add components like water purifier, oven etc. making it a holistic solution in the kitchen. A typically good-quality make fridge lasts you for several years without a hiccup, so adding more modules as per requirements is quite sensible. What I love about the design is the clever use of technology via an app, to help control key features like temperature vs content and status on the food item stored – example: expiry date, freshness etc. In essence, each module can be temperature controlled individually, thus creating various customized zones for the food within.
The Circle Zero from PLUTO is a smart litter box that takes care of your cat’s business. Designed to be fully automated, fully enclosed, and exceptionally silent, the litter box comes with a completely enclosed design to provide a private experience. Sensors on the box detect the presence of the cat, and wait for a full 7 minutes after they’re done to automatically (and silently) scoop the waste from the litter and store it separately while completely containing and eliminating any odor too. Once the waste compartment is full, you can use any bag or liner to collect it and throw it away. Designed to appear classy (and practically something you’d find in an IKEA catalog), the Circle Zero truly looks like the kind of device you’d want to keep in your living room.
The base of the shape-shifting, infinitely customizable shelf KUR!O by designer Markus Hofko of Von Morgen is its underlying grid, made from sandwiched wood-fiber boards. The cuts in the grid go as much as 20mm deep, allowing you press-fit powder-coated steel panels into it. The steel panels come in a variety of colors, giving the KUR!O its uniquely vibrant appeal, and feature carefully-placed cuts that let individual panels interlock into each other. The 2mm thick panels are heavy-duty enough to take on large loads, making the KUR!O robust, despite the fact that there isn’t any screwing or gluing of parts. Each KUR!O even comes with a set of 8mm thick steel sticks or dowels that peg into the circular holes at the intersection of the cutouts. Plug a stick in and you instantly have yourself a series of hooks right beside your shelf-spaces so you can both hang as well as place items on your KUR!O.
Un-Lim is an ageless collection that can be molded and changed over time – think of it as redesigning your own furniture using the same pieces to create a whole new form and function! It comes with 8 different parts that you can combine to match your space and needs. Turn it from a bed to a table to a chair seamlessly. “Unlimited imagination and unimaginable needs of people could be contradictory to the limitations of our planet and our capacities as human beings. The consumption patterns we have adapted have led to global warming, polluted air, soil, and water while putting pressure on people, both in working conditions and a psychological obsession to gain more without answering the real needs,” says designer Ariyan Davoodian on what inspired him to create modular furniture for every space.
Studio RYTE’s Catssup includes a Dot Step, a Sleeping Pill, a Space Ball, a Cloud Lounge and a Climbing Tower – I would just like to say that I strongly believe human furniture should also have fun labels like this and maybe we would be more invested in it. The Dot Step is a circular attachment that lets your pet explore vertical places with the Cloud Lounge and Sleeping Pill are resting attachments. The Space Ball and Climbing tower are play pieces to keep your cat entertained, especially during virtual meetings. All you have to do is screw and clamp for rearranging the pieces suited to different functions. The C-clamp is adjustable so it will fit horizontal boards/surfaces easily.
Danish architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrick Husum have created ‘GrowMore’ in an attempt to encourage such a society. GrowMore is an urban gardening modular design that expands as your plants grow. The modular, open-source system is made entirely out of CNC-milled plywood. The versatile planter can be bolted and unbolted in a variety of configurations, allowing you to maintain mini or larger-than-mini farms and gardens. GrowMore consists of a collection of six individual parts including plywood, shelving and planting units, which are held together by a ‘circular pivotal joint’, that uses M8 bolts in order to create varied designs from the very same parts. “It’s like a Lego system,” said Lindholm “The parts can be rotated vertically and horizontally, so it’s totally flexible. You can really freestyle, and build anything you want.”
Designed by a former Lexus Engineer who found himself shifting cities a lot, Aalo2.0 by Sejun Park is designed to be stronger, made from finer materials, and work anywhere, including outdoors. Going a step further to make the range more durable, and therefor last for possibly a decade longer, Aalo 2.0 fine tunes a few things while sticking to its original philosophy. The products come flat-packed, much like IKEA’s furniture would, but unlike the Swedish home-decor giant, Aalo 2.0 is also designed for ‘disassembly’. This ensures that when you travel between cities, shifting jobs, your entire lifestyle travels WITH you. Aalo 2.0 comes apart as conveniently as it’s put together… with connecting panels and joineries that tighten with a single tool, the Aalo 2.0 can be assembled, disassembled, or even repurposed into newer items of furniture. Its Lego-like simplicity gives you the opportunity to be creative with your furniture, building exactly what you want, and its sheer genius is that designer Sejun Park devised a clever Nordic-style minimalist design language that shines through no matter what piece of furniture you make. Whether you use Aalo 2.0 to make a footstool, wardrobe, planter-stand, table, or even modular shelf, every product looks like a part of Aalo’s visual family.
For the love of all beautifully designed furniture, check out more curated and inspiring furniture designs here!