04 March 2009

IKEA hacks

I recently came across IKEAhacker where people describe their adaptations of IKEA furniture, some of them incredibly detailed. The site's been going strong for 3 years now.

Interesting to consider how a company like IKEA will survive recession: will it thrive, like the Poundshops and Primark because it's cheap, throw away (see IKEA's throw-away philosophy writ large in this Spike Jonze ad); or will people switch to the sustained value of higher quality goods as Linda Grant, provocatively, insists?

I think old habits die hard. And buying cheap is an established habit now. Maybe we'll add value by customising like the IKEA hackers. In Pine and Gilmore's classification that puts us somewhere between agrarian and industrial consumers, maybe edging into the service economy, far 'behind' the experience economy consumers they envisaged. (I have never found them convincing, perhaps because I wasn't the target audience for many of their shining examples of the experience economy at work. Service I can believe in; experience seems too intrusive and time-consuming and, to use their term, often inauthentic.)

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