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 - r/SwedishSocialism [get the Reddit app!] - 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 Environment means reducing your footprint on the planet and r/SwedishSocialism 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 included '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 'carpenter's job does not scale up' like, for example, tech worker's 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 'trade's 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 immeasurable 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.
[edit: Reddit is very fussy about linking; if you right click and copy the link it will let you open a new window; good read, I promise]
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.
'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?