Thursday, January 29, 2015

IKEA's SEKTION - Part 2


'A thousand possibilities....'








From the new IKEA SEKTION catalogue:


   'A SEKTION kitchen from IKEA lets you create literally thousands of different combinations so you're sure to be able to put together a kitchen that's just right - for you. 

I completely agree with this statement. That is precisely the strength of the system. This is why I will be cutting less and instead be more efficient with the boxes - that's the change for me. And I think, it is the same conclusion that the IKEA's SEKTION designers came to - the AKURUM 'kitchen box' being so versatile worked in all situations - basements, laundry, mudrooms, play rooms - any general storage! And if you did not like the BESTA media unit, there was no reason why you could not go with a AKURUM - you just needed a creative individual to modify the system to suit your particular needs.





IKEA Etobicoke was just recently hiring kitchen planners -

  • Ikea Kitchen Planner Job Description
The Kitchen Planner IS tasked to assist customers or make accurate designs and layout in proper time in customer’s transaction process. Ensure that the labeling and presentation of the merchandise is accurate and clear. He/she must also be updated and knowledgeable on product features and customer selling strategies.
Ikea Kitchen Planner Hourly Salary Range: *****

The ad also listed some carpentry experience would be an asset. So the individuals who will help those millions of customers purchasing their new  kitchen are there only to ensure a proper shopping experience - a successful sale. IKEA does not mention or seem to require any actual design experience from their planners - that is a weakness of their system, in my opinion. For a complex system like SEKTION - yea! I think that is a one flaw that SEKTION has, its complexity - you do need to understand how to make that functionality work for you; how to make that functionality work with your budget.  


IKEA does have a 'third party' affiliated with them that offers:


A] a measuring service - self-explanatory;
B] a service that will provide you with a 'detailed layout and 3D image of your kitchen' - this is a little ambiguous to me - who are these people? are they designers? [I will find out and update this entry when I do]
C] delivery service - self-explanatory - I think they actually have pretty good prices!
D] installation services - the plastic legs are back on SEKTION! read here what I think about them, and what I do differently.


There will be two things that will be happening as a result of this overt SEKTION complexity:

A] Inefficient designs - or mistakes - I consider myself a good kitchen designer not just because I love cooking, or that I worked as a line cook in a professional kitchen [lunches was the most challenging that I did, it was still busy!]. I consider myself a good kitchen designer, because I am a schooled designer [Craft&Design diploma,  Furniture Design major], but also because I have built numerous kitchens, some of them commercial [my guess would be in the vicinity of about 50?].


And when I was looking over the designs at the SEKTION booth, I was always, in my mind, trying to rationalize the decisions made. So:


A] showcasing functionality but raising cost;
B] purely for looks - significantly raises cost;
C] a functional compromise in an awkward situation - cost conscious;
D] wow! a low cost solution that works!


Like that, and there were many more. How is an average person to navigate all that without professional help? Based on my experience, designing and assembling an IKEA kitchen is not impossible - but it is challenging. I speculate that every IKEA kitchen buyer's worst nightmare is when they need to check the product count upon delivery - all 2000 pieces - awkward Swedish names; long strings of numbers punctuated with periods; no indication as to the actual size - is this item 'small' or 'big'? Often times people will have the kitchen delivered mid-reno, but actually start opening and checking a month later, things have been moved around several times.  No jokes! I've seen it all! It's a puzzle that many homeowners dread.


B] Complexity of the system will result in the creative and functional potential of that system not being fully realized.


I know that it will take me some time and several projects to not only fully grasp the potential of SEKTION, but also how I can add to it - or better - in what ways can I hack it? One thing I know for sure, SEKTION will work wonderfully with customs doors and panels that I will launch for it - I will make it look like a million bucks!


For the last 2 week, I have had a major dilemma - with AKURUM being phased out, I have began to postpone any quotes that required the old system. Some doors are not available anymore it seems - put out in the AS-IS section. I will have to wait few days till the new system is released to begin using it in my designs. In some ways, I think, SEKTION will really let me showcase my creativity in designing millwork. They way I look at it - it's just a box! and needs a master. LOL.


I am so eager to get that tool in my hands - SEKTION here I come!