IKEA and Tom Dixon’s ‘Open Source’ Sofa is Designed to be Hacked

by Rachel Tepper Paley / BLOOMBERG

Tom Dixon (left). (Source- IKEA)

BRITISH designer Tom Dixon’s portfolio is an eclectic one, including everything from high-concept paperweights to masculine scented candles. But his recent collaboration with Swedish furniture retailer IKEA might be one of his most fascinating: The design of a modular sofa with seemingly endless combinations and configurations.

Well, not endless. Bloomberg asked IKEA to total the number of ways Delaktig’s many components — which include one-, two-, and three-seater couches; two different chaise lounges; back and arm rests; and lamp and side table attachments — could be assembled. They came back with a real meatball of a number: 97.

But, the brand contends, there may be even more combinations. “This is a platform made to inspire and boost creativity, so IKEA hopes and foresees that customers will find many more options and possibilities,” James Futcher, IKEA’s Creative Leader, tells Bloomberg. The aluminium frame, open-source platform will become available in Europe in February and in the US this summer or fall. Couches, chairs and chaise come in light grey, dark grey and dark blue.

The Delaktig is customisable through many flexible components. (Source- IKEA)

It’s very much something that can mutate according to your changing conditions,” Dixon told the New York Times in March, just before Delaktig’s debut at the Salone del Mobile design fair in Milan. “You could put on a lamp, a phone charger, a side table. You could raise or lower it, or put it on wheels. It can easily go from being a student bed to a really posh couch and then back again when you have kids.”

The idea for Delaktig was partly inspired by the flourishing of websites geared toward the DIY hacking of IKEA furniture. But will DIYers really be attracted to a system that essentially does the hacking for them? Maybe, maybe not. “I think there is this satisfaction of creating something totally different than what is mass produced,” Jules Yap, co-founder of the site IkeaHackers, told Wired.

The IKEA collaboration is an interesting move for Dixon, whose luxe-industrial aesthetic has primarily been aimed at clients with deep pockets. In contrast, Delaktig will be priced similarly to IKEA’s other mid-range sofas, with prices beginning at around US$400 (RM1,554). — Bloomberg