This entry here is a part of the Toronto Design Festival 2021.
Chapter 1 - The need for storage
People have stuff. Sometimes lots and lots of it. Sometimes they have too much stuff and it becomes a problem.
Yes my friends that is most requested item on the menu at Studio Kosnik. No it is not fancy furniture design that people want [although I will often throw in some eccentric element into my design] but rather the superbly organized, well lit, beautifully functional Ikea hacks. I have found the perfect partner in IKEA - essentially they are in the business of boxes - well designed, well sourced
In fact Ikea's boxes are so popular that they often sell out of them. There exist shortages of their well priced boxes across many areas of United States, Canada - even European Union has its own issues [BREXIT!!]. Consumers complain of being sold a beautiful dream via the various IKEA planners, be it PAX, or SEKTION, or BESTA or BILLY or EKET..... just sooo many boxes - and then realizing that the item is out of stock and hasn't been stocked in ages. Or maybe they live outside of delivery area. Or maybe there isn't anyone in the area to install it - yes, there is a shortage of skilled labour.
Entry point pricing on a box that typically carries a better 'design value' - for example the design for the BILLY bookcase is resolved downright to the shelf pins! check them out! 10/10 - means that many of those boxes paired with the right designer [yes, that is another requirement...] - becomes an irresistible value proposition. How high are you holding your nose in relation to your wallet, huh?**
What is the box that every dwelling will need? Easy, it's the kitchen box and SEKTION - which is Ikea's second version of the kitchen box; a complete re-design of their previous AKURUM system, for which by the way exists an entire ecosystem of shops making replacement doors] - is an industry leader.
I love telling this story:
So one day we were installing some really fancy millwork for Canada's most famous lawyer - personal residence. I was fresh out of design school and working for a high end millwork company. This place had it all - 'a million dollar floor', rift sawn wenge; 'a million dollar' kitchen, Italian Boffi; of course there was my 'million dollar zebra wood' closet and media unit. The house is absolutely stunning and well designed. Soon I discovered that there was another large kitchen in the basement - an exact look-alike, except it was from IKEA. This Boffi/IKEA thing did not dawn on me right away - both kitchens were nice white high gloss; both kitchens featured great functional hardware, AND at first glance they appeared identical. That's right ~they appeared identical~. Me, quote, unquote, a professional, couldn't spot the difference at first glance.
Much years has passed since that time - today, almost 15 years later, I've developed a more discerning eye and can spot 'designer' things easier, but this experience is deeply etched in my mind.
See? Who knows if you don't tell them?
This pandemic has caused a dramatic shift to work from home for a specific demographic and now this demographic needs - I follow several Reddit forums