Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Death, Taxes and BODBYN - Exit Review


picture shows a discontinued green BODBYN doors, along side a gray LIDI drawer front [also gone]

  • IKEA discontinues their most powerful SEKTION door.
  • It is becoming hard to predict which SEKTION door will get cancelled next; the 2022 Kitchen Catalogue is already incorrect and makes things hard to plan
  • Swedish Socialism is the only Design Philosophy that overcomes the unpredictability of planning a SEKTION event;

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Where will you buy your furniture - Swedish Socialism 2 OR IKEA discontinues White Oak BILLY bookcase


[picture shows a screen capture from IKEA's official website, informing us of the planned changes to the fabrication methods]

Chapter 1 - IKEA discontinues White Oak BILLY bookcase.

As inflation starts biting more and more it will become more important to understand if you are getting good value for your hard earned money.

It will be necessarry to skip the glossy advertising and reach to the source - Swedish Socialism - for reputable, consistent and relevant information on meta-IKEA products, their improvements and essentially 'things that make sense for life'.

Money can be made on 'chachkas, dudas and flim-flam' OR it can be made on products manufactured with longevity and comfort in mind. 'Yes! IKEA makes that kind of furniture - white oak BILLY bookcase was that kind of piece of furniture.

Part of Caring for Environement means reducing your footprint on the planet and Swedish Socialism solves that. You get dependable, community centred and shared information and ideas that ARE helping - first and foremost ~you~; remember, you have to be successful first before you can help others to be successful.

Furniture destined for the Western Market is rarely made in the Western Market, that's not simply how our economy works. I personally experienced the birth of globalization - I'm stuck in the 90's; that's 'my decade' - and it was always sold to me as delivering democracy via economic means. Various metrics point to the success of that era - untold numbers of individuals were 'lifted out of poverty'. 

If you were a giant behemoth - like IKEA; it's mainly the purchasing power - but also you were forward thinking because you lacked the traditional 'institutional inertia' of other companies, meant that you could experiment with new ways of reducing your labour requirements to produce what I consider 'a very useful and practical human designs.' 

IKEA created a new vision for furniture. When a table design that inlcuded 'an elegant end-vise' won an award from IKEA for 'forward thinking functionality' - not yet defined! - it gives you a glimpse, a preview of what humanity is about. 

Humanity is about creativity and improvement. I'm on REDDIT - it's considered 'social media' but I don't view it quite like that - and read a common observation that 'carpenters job does not scale up' like, for example, tech workers jobs scale up. This is the reason cited for a lower pay range of 'carpenters vs. tech workers'. That gave me quite a pause, and I thought about that statement extensively. I replied too. 

The value of tech-worker and carpenter is identical and if properly grown and 'harvested for ideas' both are excellent life style choices. Greatest value in trade work, in my opinion, lies in the fact that a 'trades person' has a skillset that allows them to easily manipulate their surroundings. When you pair that up with human-centred design on the most granular level - individual; iDesign - you solve the greatest challenge posed to Interior Design in Human History - yours. 



Solving for that solution and finding it successfully has immesearuable positive outcomes. You start living - I am serious. Simple, small elevations that move 'away from the standard' and into your own 'personal comfort zone' [I call that luxury] is all that is required for an 'elevated life'.  

Chapter 2 - The Cheapening and its victims

I learned of the plan to discontinue the white oak Billy bookcase on the subreddit r/IKEA. It was actually posted by Jules from Ikea Hackers with the tone and the message of 're-birth of BILLY'. I carefully read the press release and dug deeper into the links to better understand what is happening and why it is happening. 

So what is exactly happening? 

IKEA is getting rid of a specific step in case goods production of BILLY - the edgeing step. 'Edgeing' is a general woodworking practice of applyig a protective layer on the most vulnerable of parts of any box - the edges. The cover for the edges typically matches the finish of the surface - so white panel ends up edged with white edging; white oak surface is covered with thin layer of white oak solid or wooden veneer tape. 

I consider edging to be the most important part of any case goods - its strength - because it protects the part that is most exposed to damage thru daily living. 

source: private personal interior designer to 4 babies + dog; 19+ years and counting

I am not the only one that thinks this. Look - 

[picture shows a large white oak panel in a professional finishing booth, glossy from being freshly sprayed with latest super matte acrylic finish, with an arrow pointing to the solid wood edging at the bottom of the panel]

My hobby bossman [we build for the 1%] always edges all his panels this way - adds cost, but renders the panel esssentially timeless. And to be honest, I like the term 'timeless', because I believe that we sincerely lack that quality in our life and we dearly desire it as it gives meaning to our existence by extending it; extending it either for us personally or for others.

Or I could say that I am simply appealing to the most powerful of human emotions - greed. Our relationship to our money is very intimate and personal. It represents our past and our success and we want to exhange it in best possible way - by obtaining a quality proportionate to our past efforts [this is only true, however, for the largest of IKEA's consumers; there exist other classes and other motivators].

Edgeing is quality and IKEA is getting rid of it. 

Chapter 3 - Emotions are fluffy tho..

They are and they are not - but here is something that caught my attention. This is from IKEA's official literature.

This section in particular caught my eye, look -->

'Lifespan and emotional connection are no longer design principles, rather will be defined during the circular business opportunity and circular loops work.' - I gasped. I gasped because IKEA artificially stripped themselves of the two most powerful qualitites of their products that were effortless to them - it cost them absolutely nothing, if we were to define in it terms of Rules of Capitalism.

Longevity and Emotional Attachment are one of the most important considerations under Swedish Socialism because they represent tremendous value and opportunity that is uncaptured by anyone else - this is where the Psychology of Design comes in. 

Chapter 4 - Sift the Drivel from Value

White Oak BILLY bookcase was my choice of case goods for my current and future library - proven durability furnished with items on display that bring meaning to my life aka. Emotional Attachment. I was so upset that I even posted Reddit IKEA community. You can read there my 'immediate designer outrage' - I'm over it now. When time will come to build the future library I will simply custom build it out of white oak sheet veneer goods - basically the same way that white oak  BILLY was designed and build. 

Where will you buy your furniture now, eh?

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Swedish Socialism 2


I spend 25 hours a week thinking. 

When Handy Design - Modern Ideas school was conceived it was founded on the backbone of stable and constant demand for reliable and creative information. 

The COVID induced shortages coupled with the war in Ukraine completely unwound the traditional business model of Ikea Hacking and pushed more emphasis on Peak Furnishings - the development of ideas. 

Inflation is stoked my the traditional model of Capitalism - shortages cause prices to spike. Labour pool has shrank dramatically - we have reached a historic stage in human evolution where it's the 'availability of human hand' that is the only restriction on profits. This is why it is critical that companies secure a dependable labour pool now.

Two tweets by Bank of Canada caught my attention. One was the announcement of withdrawal of sale of Canadian bonds that would mature in 2063; the other one about the Bank of Canada undertaking a study of 'human attention and its productivity'. 

Ha! the last bastion of personal space - our attention - about to be regulated. Regulated, but how? How do you regulate the second most valuable commodity that each of us, as individuals, have - first one being what we do with our free time; some choose to work. 

Last year IKEA rsvp'ed to my show. Since that time I have been thinking about how to move forward on this. IKEA represents a major cog within Swedish Socialism - remember we leverage what is best of Capitalism on the most granular level possible, the individual [vs. Capitalism bringing prosperity to the masses]. 

Swedish Socialism is a step above Capitalism, we turn it around and as individuals become the greatest benefactors. Our individuality, our diversity is our Greatest Common Good.

What if countries will start actively preventing emmigration? Our traditional model of 'human movement is antiquated.'

[To be continued]

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

White oak YELLOWS - Ikea's VEDHAMN door review + HOW 2 handle that;


[picture shows a screenshot of VEDHAMN door listing on the Canadian IKEA app]

VEDHAMN is IKEA's new door for their SEKTION boxes - a solid white oak frame with a veneered plywood panel trapped in the centre. It is a plain frame featuring a small round as the solid transitions from the frame to the inside panel. It is sprayed with a clear acrylic finish - a lot clearer than the 'traditional cellulose look' of white oak. The selection of the solid appears good with minimal grain run out; the centre panel veneers feature nice long open grain. 

This is what you want in your door, really - if it is the AI robotic arm and eye that selects the veneers and assembles the doors it is doing a great job. Look - 

Chapter 1 - I love White Oak

White oak is one of the nicest hardwoods that we have growing here in North America. It is used to the climate, it always grew here and thus is well suited for any purpose that requires hardness, durability and good looks. 

White oak is also one of the hottest designer woods right now, and due to the inflation and demand it is commanding astronomical prices with decreased selection. It is not uncommon to purchase entire lifts of quartered white oak solid not just to secure a good price but also to secure the quality that you want - every board is looked over and its placement carefully considered within the larger scope. 

Historically this has not been the case at all. White oak was always looked down as the secondary cousin to red oak. If you did not have money for nice red oak hardwood floors, you could always compromise and get white oak instead. Savigs were around $1 a sq.f in material costs back in my flooring days; and if the flooring was stained than it was even harder to tell and the savings were good. 

Today red oak has fallen so much out of favour that beautiful red oak veneers - one of the nicests sequenital flitch layups I have seen in my life! - are used as backers on 'more precious layups'. Look - 

[picture shows beautiful and precious 'tiger stripe' figure red oak veneers used for backers on more in demand white oak veneers;]

Eventually even IKEA could not resist to jump on the white oak bandwagon - remember, it's always about the sales; 'people's wants, needs and desires' I wrote once, to describe IKEA's business model. Yes, design is cyclical and tastes need to be made [media / magazines] but white oak could not be pulled off successfully with thermofoil, I think, because white oak is quite culturally too familiar to us, and by 'us' I mean the Western Sphere of influence. White oak doors had to be solid. 

Enamoured? I've always been, and have some white oak doors currently in my personal life. They are aging gracefully and feature the 'traditional cellulose look' - never underestimate the power of visual association! They are yellowing nicely but because of the purposeful, 'white oak centered design', that shift is completely out of focus and not a visual priority. What is a visual priority is the wood itself - the hand selected out of a lumber pile; emotional attachment the it was carried thru design woodworking school waiting patiently for its inteded purpose not known until the ver last moment; and FINALLY it rests as a beautiful, handcrafted, highly detailed solid wood door with the centre panel being glass from a damaged BILLY bookcase door. 

Hahahaha! Yes! My very own 'super precious 2 me' white oak door has a 'cheap IKEA glass in it' - it's an IKEA Hack. I really like the clarity of glass doors for BILLY bookcases - it's almost like Starphire glass; clarity is really amazing. But the best part about it is the safety - it smashes to small, harmless smitherines. Where I come from to have a piece of glass like that is expensive - the AS-IS section from IKEA is fertile gorund for all sorts of amazing glass; seize on the opportunities! 

But if you want to go Large White Oak then you have to hire a knowledgable designer, that is the only way I would advise to do white oak large scale. Essentially it needs to be handled by professionals, otherwise the yellow will soon become overwhelming and not in a good way. 

[picture shows a custom laid up side panel in 'whiter white oak'; 'whiter white oak' is a unique finishing process that prevents white oak from aging in 'yellow']

So how do you balance your desire to bring a beautiful wood into your space with its natural aging characteristics? By the way any natural wood will exhibit a colour change over its lifespan. 

Chapter 2  - How 2 handle 'The Yellowing' of white oak

Firstly, embrace it - that's how it was meant to be so don't obsess too much about it. 

Second - use as accent doors to bring the sophistication of white oak into your own space.

I would choose to install them as uppers, or if you are Design Hacking, 'at eye level' - however you understand that term; sometimes it is important to trust your own instincts, your own gut feeling vs. 'what others are doing'. 

I would focus on creating a balanced grouping of doors, likely no more than 5-6, that will focus attention on a specific area where you feel 'your kitchen will be strong' - eyes will naturally run for that visual element. White oak is a wood that looks great with virtually any solid colour so VEDHAMN doors can be surrounded with any slab doors, including IKEA's VEDDINGE doors. And, if you do choose VEDDINGE as a complement to VEDHAMN, than you can gain additional savings by going with IKEA's skinny stock panels. 

Chapter 3 - Is there anything else about VEDHAMN?

I am currently running some experiments on the VEDHAMN finish.  Look -

[picture shows a VEDHAMN door with a series of narrow masking tape strips stuck on the solid of the frame, as well as the centre panel]

Will be updating this post as the testing progresses. Stay tuned!